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College of Central Florida
presents employee awards

By Lisa McGinnes, College of Central Florida
Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
Published May 18, 2022 at 10:12 a.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida honored outstanding employees at its annual Employee Service and Recognition Awards ceremony on May 6.

 

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     The Constellation Award for 2022 was presented to Tracey Cornille, Joshua Copeland, Lynn Maltais, Joyce Maly, Catherine McDonough, Elyse Perry and Tonya Price-Ashley for their Campus Clinical Experience project. These nursing instructors innovatively transitioned the Associate Degree Nursing program’s clinical experience model during the pandemic to train students while meeting accreditation standards and accommodating social distancing requirements.
     The 2022 Adjunct Instructor of the Year award was presented to Jane Burke, who teaches communications.
     The highlight of the annual award ceremony is the Gabor Awards. Now in its 32nd year, the Gabor Awards were established by the Gabor Agency in 1990 and are presented by the CF Foundation. Faculty and staff nominate their peers based on contributions to students, the college and community. The 2022 winners include three individuals:
     Kirby Brown was honored in the faculty category. He is an associate professor of mathematics who was described by his peers as “fully committed to students’ success.”
     Sylvia Thornton won the award for career service employees. She serves as executive administrative assistant for Academic Affairs and has been called an “unsung hero.”
     Josh Strigle took the top honor for administrative/professional/technology employees. He is the director of e-learning and the learning support centers and was recognized for “directly contributing to the huge success of the transition to online classes and tutoring.”

 




Exploring Finances
Harness The Power Of Budgeting 
Published May 16, 2022 at 2:12 p.m.
     NEWBERRY --
When you hear the word “budgeting,” your first thought might be that it’s mostly for young people starting out in their careers and adult lives.
     Yet, budgeting can be important for everyone, no matter their age. And even if you feel that you’re in pretty good financial shape, with a reasonable amount of savings and investments, you can still benefit by establishing a budget or improving your current one.  
     Here’s what budgeting can do for you:
     • Give you feelings of control –
Not knowing where your money is going can be bewildering. But when you follow a budget, you’ll get a clear picture of your money movements. Consequently, you’ll feel more in control of your finances – and possibly your life, too. 
     • Help you identify your priorities – A budget is, first of all, a practical tool that can help you manage your finances by showing what you must spend on your needs – mortgage, utilities, car payment and so on. But a good budget should also have space for your wants – which can range from mundane things, such as new clothes and entertainment, to more aspirational items, such as gifts to charitable organizations you strongly support. By having your needs and your wants in front of you, on a piece of paper or a computer screen, you can determine if you’re spending too much on things that aren’t important to you and not enough on those that are. Consequently, you may be able to adjust your budget in a way that allows you to put more financial weight behind your priorities. 
     • Save for emergencies – You never know when you’ll need a major car repair or a new furnace or face a large medical bill – all of which can be true budget busters. That’s why, within your monthly budget, you should designate a certain amount to an emergency fund, with the money held in a liquid, accessible account. To make it easier to contribute to this fund, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking or savings account into a separate, liquid, low-risk account. It’s a good idea to keep at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund.
     • Help you pay down debt – By sticking to a budget, you can determine how much money you can devote to paying down your debts. And if you find opportunities within your budget to cut back on your spending, you can use the savings to reduce your debts further.
     • Save for your future – Here’s another important category for your monthly budget: the future. You should always try to put away some money, even if it’s only a relatively small amount, to a retirement account such as an IRA. As your salary goes up, you can increase these amounts. Of course, you may already be contributing to a 401(k) or similar account where you work, but you could spend decades in retirement, so you’ll want to accumulate as many resources as you can for those years.
A budget is a humble-appearing document. But, as we’ve seen, it can play a far more meaningful role in your life than you might have thought – so use it wisely. 
    Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Edward Jones Financial Advisor - Sheila K. Smith, 25349 W. Newberry Road, in Newberry. Phone 352-472-2776.

 


NCBDC progresses
Exclusive Coverage

NCBDC
Seen here after the meeting are (front row, from left) Stacey Robertson Peters, Melissa Saco and Nature Coast Business Development Council (NCBDC) Treasurer Bob Krefting and (standing from left) Brandon Peters, Dick Streeter, Daniel Vaudreuil, NCBDC Executive Director Scott Osteen and NCBDC Vice Chairman George Buckner III. NCBDC Director Mary Swope (not pictured) was in attendance and participated via telephone. The Peters were part of the general public watching the meeting. Brandon Peters, who is running for the District 22 seat of the Florida House of Representatives, interacted with the NCBDC Board members present at the May 12 meeting. Peters faces another Democrat in the primary on Aug. 23 and if he wins, then he will face in November one of the two Republicans who wins that party’s primary on Aug. 23.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 14, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
The Nature Coast Business Development Council (NCBDC) is showing progress on a few fronts, according to information shared at the monthly meeting on Thursday afternoon (May 12) at the College of Central Florida Jack Wilkinson, Levy Campus.
     A movement to incorporate Gilchrist County and Dixie County into this Levy County organization created to help business thrive is plodding along. Likewise, efforts to let the world know about property available for development in Levy County is moving forward.
     One of the big wish list items for many people in the Tri- County Area of Levy County, Gilchrist County and Dixie County is showing a glimmer of hope, including a $400 million grant to improve Internet connections in rural Florida.
     As for the meat and potatoes, and the hard, cold facts from the regular monthly meeting of the NCBDC, following is how it shook out during that late Thursday afternoon.
     The required quorum of at least five members of the NCBDC Board of Directors was met, as shown by attendance being called.
     NCBDC Executive Director Scott Osteen, not a Board member, led the meeting.
     Present were Vice Chairman George Buckner III, Treasurer Bob Krefting, Director Dick Streeter, Director Daniel Vaudreuil and Director Mary Swope (via telephone).
     Swope replaces former Director Dorothy Pernu as a result of a vote taken at last month’s NCBDC meeting.
     From the Citrus Levy Marion CareerSource, there is a potential replacement of NCBDC Director Cathy Galica by Melissa Saco, who was present for the May 12 meeting. Saco is relatively unaware of local news. She said she does not read the Gainesville Sun, the Ocala Star-Banner, the daily newspaper that covers Citrus County or any of the weeklies in Levy County. She said she does not watch television broadcasts of news. Saco said she gets her news from Facebook.
     Absent NCBC officers and directors from the May 12 meeting were NCBDC Secretary Joyce Wilson and directors Phil Geist, Denny George, Greg Galpin, Chris Cowart and Holly McGlashan. There is also still a vacancy for a representative on the NCBDC Board of Directors from the transportation sector.
     All of the directors are volunteers. The only paid employee of the NCBDC is its executive director, however Osteen said that if the Council expanded, he anticipates having more paid staff members.

Internet Hope
     Just as has been mentioned at some public meetings, there is reportedly grant funding available to help improve the Internet service in rural Florida; however, no company has been found and no plan exists for the Internet users in the Tri-County Area to expect improvement beyond what exists today in the foreseeable future.
     Meanwhile Elon Musk’s established plan is unfolding in space and he is creating a method for people in rural parts all over the world to have better, more affordable Internet service. 
     Starlink is the name of a satellite network developed by the private spaceflight company SpaceX to provide low-cost Internet to remote locations. SpaceX eventually hopes to have as many as 42,000 satellites. There is a method for any current Internet user to see if the service is available right now to them.
     As for the unrecorded subdivision known as Jemlands in Levy County, Starlink is not available yet. Verizon MiFi, and ViaSat are the two relatively expensive methods most often used in this part of the Tri-County Area.

Quarantined Horses Landing
     There was some NCBDC Board discussion after Executive Director Osteen said he had toured the World Equestrian Center in Ocala. Currently, there are transportation delays with horses coming into Ocala from other countries, due to quarantine requirements.
     The horses are landing in Miami as the closest airport with a quarantine facility, as best as can be determined from the conversation Thursday.
     Osteen said he intends to speak with Williston City Manager Jackie Gorman and Williston Municipal Airport Manager Benton Stegall about the potential of a quarantine facility to be built and staffed at the airport in Williston.
     While the runway may be long enough at Williston Municipal Airplane for aircraft transporting horses, this airport is not one with a control tower, and that is one of a few significant considerations for how Williston Municipal Airport is currently limited. It is a great place to buy fuel. One highlight for Williston in that part of that city is its animal shelter, which currently is anticipated for construction completion by Dec. 31 of this year. 
     Williston Municipal Airport Manager Stegall failed to return a telephone call to HardisonInk.com Friday (May 13), although he said he would.

Two More Counties To Add
     Work has started to find the feasibility of adding Gilchrist County and Dixie County to the NCBDC, which has served only Levy County historically. A public-private economic development entity may be able to create a plan for adding those other two counties, if all three counties’ current government leaders can reach an agreement.
     The return on investment of the NCBDC to Levy County has proved enough so far for the previous sets of county commissioners in this county to believe the NCBDC is sustainable, however that set of elected deciders for funding is in constant flux.
     While this expansion to three counties rather than one county has been discussed for a few months now, at least, there is a relatively strong probability that more progress will be presented on this potential project at the next monthly NCBDC meeting.
     As for the stability of a Tri-County Area entity, the now-extinct Suwannee River Partnership was such an organization that now no longer exists.

Water Wonders
     The recent discussions between some of the municipalities in Levy County about sharing water resources was briefly reviewed.
     Brandon Peters, a Levy County resident who was at this public meeting, asked about the NCBDC being involved in discussions between the cities, given that water is among the most valuable resources in this part of Florida and the NCBDC is involved in attracting new business to Levy County and helping existing business in Levy County.
     There was some brief reaction to the suggestion, but sharing water resources between cities is still in its earliest formative stage.

Other News
     The NCBDC has been working with interests in the state to help show Levy County’s 46 different sites that are open for development. Each site has differing levels of infrastructure that is in place. The demographics of the available workforce are another consideration for enterprisers looking to locate in Levy County.
     Not every site is shovel-ready for building. Another factor is how the property is zoned. The Levy County Board of County Commissioners meets twice a month, which can present a delay to some interests seeking zoning changes, to the point of those investors looking and finding other places to put their business offices, manufacturing plants or other facilities.
     Another matter discussed was the NCBDC website, which continues to be under development as it has for more than one month by Scott DeBerry. Osteen said he anticipates DeBerry to have the NCBDC website project completed at some point in the relatively near future.
     There is still no office for NCBDC Director Osteen, but he is working from his residence and goes to meet with parties at their locations. One of his benefits provided for his employment is a vehicle that is leased for his use.
     On another matter, Director Vaudreuil said he know a woman who is willing to work to become certified as a grant writer, if the NCBDC expands and seeks to contract for that service. One potential way to fund that added service would be for this out-of-state resident to be paid through part of any grant awarded.
     On another issue of money and NCBDC employment, the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion part of funding of Executive Director Osteen’s salary would be in the state fiscal year which ends June 30. That is probably going to be added to the funding that happens at the county budget level, which has a fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
     There was a little bit of discussion about an idea the NCBDC never went far in developing a couple of years ago. That was to have various Levy County business owners buying sponsorship levels in this entity.
     Meanwhile, Treasurer Krefting provided the monthly report for the NCBDC.
     The Levy County Commission provided its $16,600 quarterly payment of funding for the NCBDC, Krefting reported. Other income was 48 cents from interest on a short-term Certificate of Deposit.
     Other than the salary for Osteen, which must be listed on a CareerSource spreadsheet, because it has not been in the monthly reports, the total expenses in April were $887.69. The total balance for the NCBDC as of April 22 was $109,321.61, according to the report provided by the treasurer.
     The next meeting of the NCBDC Board of Directors is currently scheduled for June 9 at 3 p.m. in the College of Central Florida Jack Wilkinson, Levy Campus. That meeting is open to the public.

 


Governor brings $23 million
check to Gilchrist County
Lafayette County nets $6.5 million

Governor Ron DeSantis
Holding a check for $23,329,902 to show the governor’s intention to sign off on this part of the budget created by the Florida Legislature are (from left) Gov. Ron DeSantis, Gilchrist County Commissioner Sharon Akins Langford, County Commissioner Marion Poitevint, and County Commission Chairman Bill Martin. Standing to the right behind Chairman Martin is Vice Chairman Darrell Smith and standing behind Commissioner Poitevint is County Administrator Bobby Crosby. County Commissioner Kenrick Thomas was absent. Also present at this event were the other county constitutional officers, except for the School Board members. As has been this governor’s practice, the press is given extraordinarily little notice of a ‘press conference; by the governor. At this conference, the governor did not take any questions from the press.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 11, 2022 at 10:12 p.m.
     TRENTON –
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Tallahassee) brought a big, cardboard check to Trenton on Wednesday afternoon (May 11), representing his intent to approve more than $23.3 million in budget allocations for Gilchrist County projects, highlighting the administration’s strong commitment to helping rural economies to grow stronger.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Chiefland City Commissioner Lewrissa Johns came to Gilchrist County to see her favorite governor. Joining the municipal leader is her husband Paul Johns. City Commissioner Johns has publicly stated that she wanted the governor to visit Chiefland. The seats in the front marked 'Reserved' were not reserved for the press. All members of the press were sent behind the general public at this 'press conference.'

Governor Ron DeSantis
Larry B. 'Snuffy' Smith of Chiefland (seated) speaks with Gilchrist County Commission Chairman Bill Martin (back to camera) before the start of the ‘Press Conference.’ The actual press was instructed to check-in by 10:30 a.m. and the governor was anticipated to be there at 11 a.m. DeSantis arrived much closer to high noon rather than in the late morning. Smith has been a dedicated supporter of high school football in Gilchrist County, Levy County and Dixie County.

Governor Ron DeSantis
This is a patch on a hat worn by a fan of DeSantis. It shows an endorsement for the governor to take the Republican primary in 2024 in a run to be the President of the United States of America.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Gilchrist County leaders take the stage before the governor arrives.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools Jim Surrency (left) and Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby stand behind Gov. Ron DeSantis as he speaks about a wide range of topics, sharing his opinion with all listeners. Surrency is one of those guys who tries to crush a person's hand when he 'shakes' it.

Governor Ron DeSantis
(from left) Gov. Ron DeSantis, Superintendent of Schools Jim Surrency and County Administrator Bobby Crosby are among the listeners as Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz expresses his gratitude for the governor not just saying he support law enforcement, but actually having ‘our six’ (covering the backside) of law enforcement officers in Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis
State Sen. Jennifer Bradley expresses her happiness at being in Gilchrist County with ‘America’s Governor’ and ‘America’s Sheriff,’ meaning Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sheriff Bobby Schultz.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Rep. Chuck Clemons tells people he is happy that the governor understands the needs of rural Floridians.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle tells people that the state now is in an even better economic footing than before the global COVID-19 pandemic.


      Earlier on the morning of May 11, DeSantis went to Mayo for a similar “press conference” and he presented the same message to the tune of $6.5 million in budget allocations for projects throughout Lafayette County for the upcoming 2022-2023 Fiscal Year.
     Among the many topics he addressed was the state government working to improve Internet service in rural Florida.
     Also speaking in Trenton was Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle, whom DeSantis appointed him on Sept. 2, 2020.
     Also speaking that afternoon were State Sen. Jennifer Bradley (R-Fleming Island, Dist. 5) and State Rep. Charles Wesley "Chuck" Clemons Sr. (R-Newberry, Dist. 21).
     Another speaker at the event was Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz.
     The “press conference” was held at a Trenton restaurant with outdoor seating. There were about 100 people there, including a half-dozen members of the press.
     There were journalists from one award-winning daily news website with headquarters in Jemlands, weekly newspapers based in Chiefland and Cross City, three TV stations based in Gainesville and the governor’s press office staff members.
     The governor answered no questions from journalists. When asked if the governor intended to appoint people to replace the late Levy County Commissioner Mike Joyner (Oct. 3, 1950-Aug. 4, 2021) or the late Levy County Property Appraiser Osborn “Oz” Barker (Dec. 24, 1964-Aug. 29, 2021), one of the DeSantis team said she would be available after the “press conference,” but the whole entourage left through an exit and was not to be found.
     Hence, that eight-month-old question remains unanswered, although there are candidates running for those one-year periods to complete the terms of those two elected officials who succumbed to COVID-19.
     As has become his standard, the governor seemed to be campaigning to become the President of the United States via the 2024 election during some of his speech.
     As for the Florida Legislature creating a budget as it does each year, this year, the governor predicts a “surplus” of funds after he goes through the process of his approval of the proposed budget. The Florida state fiscal year is from July 1 through June 30.
     He spoke about incentives for people to become police officers in Florida, including a couple $1,000 bonus checks for law enforcement officers. He said out-of-state police officers are given a $5,000 incentive if they move to Florida and accept that job here.
     DeSantis announced his intent to approve an appropriation for rural infrastructure enhancements throughout the state. The approved funding to help pay for public safety and infrastructure needs in Gilchrist County will continue the administration’s ongoing commitment to investing in rural Florida communities.
     “My administration is dedicated to supporting opportunities for Floridians in rural communities,” DeSantis said. “Investing in infrastructure is a great way to give communities the tools they need to attract new industries and jobs. Each investment we make in Florida’s rural communities supports Florida’s future.” 
     Florida DEO Secretary Eagle spoke highly of the man who appointed him.
     “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, DEO is working alongside Gilchrist County leadership to identify meaningful opportunities that benefit Gilchrist County communities, families, and businesses,” Secretary Eagle said. “The Department is excited to see the resiliency and economic success these opportunities will bring to Gilchrist County’s residents as they continue to invest in their future.”
     The following Gilchrist County-specific needs will be funded following the governor’s signing of the 2022-2023 General Appropriations Act:
     ● ($370,000) – Salary Increase to Local Law Enforcement Agencies in Fiscally Constrained Counties
     ● ($6,360,666) – SR 26 from Fanning Springs to Trenton Resurfacing
     ● ($6,395,450) – SR 47 from CR 232 to Columbia County Line Resurfacing
     ● ($5,483,786) – SR 47 from U.S. Highway 129 to CR 232 Resurfacing
     ● ($4,720,000) – CR 138 from U.S. Highway 129 to SR 47
     Governor DeSantis announced his intent to approve a $400 million appropriation supporting Florida’s Broadband (Internet) Opportunity Grant Program and a $30 million appropriation for the state’s Rural Infrastructure Fund.
     The $400 million Broadband Opportunity Grant Program will provide grant funding to expand high-speed Internet connection to communities in need of the essential service, addressing historical broadband deficiencies and paving the way for future economic growth.


Sheriff Bobby Schultz
     Gilchrist County Sheriff Schultz opened his presentation of the day by saying he thinks it is great that the governor not only knows where Gilchrist County is, but he came to visit.
     With the Florida Legislature approving money for rural counties, and the governor signing off on those expenditures, rather than using a line-item veto, Sheriff Schultz said, it shows that the state leaders are concerned about the people in rural counties.
     “Twenty-three million dollars,” Schultz said. “I can’t begin to tell you what that will do for the citizens of Gilchrist County.”
     The sheriff said Gilchrist County has some of the best springs in the world for people to visit. With the road improvements and other infrastructure funding, this will help the county.
     By approving the $370,000 in state subsidy of local law enforcement, the sheriff believes this will help Gilchrist County to continue to be a safe place to live, work and raise families.
     “It’s not going to be a cure-all, fix-all for all crime,” the sheriff said, “but I promise you it is a big step. It helps our county. It’s money that we didn’t necessarily have.”
     Sheriff Schultz this will help Gilchrist County compete on a more level playing field for attracting new law enforcement officers to this part of Florida.


Sen. Jennifer Bradley
     Sen. Bradley said she is glad to be with “America’s Sheriff” and “America’s Governor.”
     Bradley shared her opinion that DeSantis is the governor who has helped rural Florida more than many governors in the state’s history.


Rep. Chuck Clemons
     Rep. Clemons said he is happy to see so many people who were able to take time out from their workday to see Gov. DeSantis.
     Clemons said he is happy to see the governor understands that rural Florida has different problems in contrast with urban Florida.


Florida DEO Secretary Dane Eagle
     Secretary Eagle gave a sunny report about the state’s current economic status.
     Eagle noted the governor has told all state agencies to “not leave our rural counties behind.”
     The Department of Economic Opportunity said the $400 million allocated to improving Internet service in Florida is unprecedented.

 


Lorelie Brannan appointed
as Baker County Court judge

By Governor’s Press Office
Published May 10, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
Yesterday (Monday, May 9), Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a judicial appointment to the Baker County Court.  
     Lorelie Brannan of Macclenny is appointed to serve as on the Baker County Court judge.
     Brannan has served as an assistant state attorney in the Eighth Judicial Circuit since 2008. Previously, she served as an assistant state attorney in the Fourth Judicial Circuit.
     She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Loyola University. Brannan fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Baker County Court Judge Joseph M. Williams.

 


Nikki Fried issues
emergency fuel rule
to help Floridians facing high gas prices

By FDACS Communications
Published May 10, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
Yesterday (May 9), Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried announced that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Consumer Services has issued an emergency rule allowing the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent denatured anhydrous ethanol, also known as E15, outside of the traditional seasonal fuel season.
     The rule aims to increase the supply gasoline products due to the crude oil disrupted by the Russian war in Ukraine.
      “After the Biden Administration and EPA issued its emergency waiver on fuel standards, we took immediate action to provide Floridians with additional relief from high gas prices,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “With many already struggling with the increased cost of living due to the inaction of Tallahassee Republicans on issues impacting hardworking Floridians, Putin’s unprovoked war has resulted in additional financial strains for Florida families at the pump. As the state agency regulating fuel quality in Florida, we remain committed to working with our federal partners to keep our fuel supply strong and to help those struggling during these difficult times.”
Federal Action
     On May 1, 2022 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Waiver temporarily lifting federal standards for fuel blends containing gasoline between 9 and 15 percent denatured anhydrous ethanol. The action was taken in direct response to the extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances caused by the war in Ukraine and was a required first step before state agencies could act.
State Action
     After reviewing the EPA waiver, FDACS Division of Consumer Services determined without an adjustment to Florida’s fuel standards in the face of an extraordinary situation, the state may be incapable of meeting demand leading to fuel shortages. FDACS filed emergency rule 5JER22-1, allowing all fuel suppliers to utilize additional fuel types to secure a consistent fuel supply and alleviate additional strain Florida’s fuel market. The rule shall remain in effect for a period of 90 days or until the expiration of the EPA’s waiver, whichever occurs first.
Vapor Pressure Requirements
     It shall be lawful to introduce into wholesale terminal storage tanks and offer for sale at retail outlets, gasoline containing at least nine (9) percent and up to and including fifteen (15) percent ethanol by volume with a vapor pressure of no more than 1.0 psi above the applicable vapor pressure class maximums, as specified in ASTM International designation D4814-20a. Such fuel held in terminal storage tanks on or before the expiration of this rule shall be lawful for distribution to retail outlets and sale by these outlets until supplies are depleted. This rule shall remain in effect for a period of 90 days or until the expiration of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s May 1, 2022, Reid Vapor Pressure Fuel Waiver, whichever occurs first.  

 


 

College Of Central Florida adds
Human Resources
Bachelor’s Degree option

By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published May 8, 2022 at 7:12 a.m.
     OCALA —
The College of Central Florida has added a new bachelor’s degree option, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management – Human Resources Management Specialization.
     Classes will begin this fall.

      “The Human Resources Management Specialization will prepare students to work in the ever-growing field of human resource professionals,” said Nancy Abshier, CF professor, program chair for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management degree and program manager for Office Administration. “Job opportunities in this area include HR generalists, compensation and benefits analysts, trainers, HR business partners, success planners and corporate recruiters.”
     With the addition of the new human resources specialization, CF students can select from nine bachelor’s degree specializations in business and technology.
     For more details about CF’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management degrees, visit CF.edu/BAS.

 


Proposed Northern Turnpike Extension
project continues

Additional time allocated
for more public feedback

Information Provided By
Angela Starke of the FDOT
Published April 28, 2022 at 10:12 a.m.
     OCOEE --
Based on the high level of engagement and interest in the proposed Northern Turnpike Extension, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), is increasing opportunities to work with local governments, stakeholders and residents in the project study area.
     Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the extension.
     FDOT Secretary Jared Perdue is the head of the FDOT.
     The increased engagement will influence the project schedule and allow stakeholders to continue providing feedback that will help to shape the Department’s Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) process and Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study.
     The FDOT will be hosting Engagement Centers and small group meetings during the next several months on a rotating basis throughout the four-county study area, including Citrus, Levy, Marion, and Sumter counties.
     Information on scheduling an Engagement Center appointment or small group meeting will be available through the NTE project website at https://floridasturnpike.com/turnpike-projects/featured-projects/northern-turnpike-extension/ and media publications in the coming weeks.
     These enhanced outreach efforts will continue to influence the project schedule and guide how the NTE supports regional and statewide needs through all phases of the project development process. A status report is due to the governor and Florida Legislature in December of 2022, and public information meetings are tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2023.
     The project’s website remains the most up-to-date and dependable resource for information and engagement opportunities. Please visit the site to view the entire project schedule and obtain other information, submit a comment, or sign up for notifications.

 


Levy County politicians still
littering medians with snipe signs

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 10, 2022 at 11:12 a.m.
Updated April 29, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
Despite Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones telling, in writing, every single candidate for office to NOT put yard signs or other political signs in public rights-of-way or road medians, Levy County looks like a sign salesperson has struck.

     There are even little billboards erected on property that is owned by the people of Levy County or the people of Florida.
     Some people call yard signs “snipe signs” because they are put out by people like snipers. Likewise, sign snipers sometimes remove them.
     Florida law is exactly specific about how what is happening in Levy County – including the little billboards put on public property – is showing Levy County to be relatively lawless in some regards.
     Section 106.1435, Florida Statutes is titled “Usage and removal of Political campaign advertisements.”
     That state law shows “Signs placed on the State, County or City rights of way – Political campaign signs may not be placed on any state, county or city rights of way.”
     The law goes on to note that signs placed on private property are regulated as well.
     “Temporary political campaign signs may be placed on private property with the permission of the owner, and such signs do not require a permit under state law,” according to Florida law.
     The law even notes that politicians should take some action to halt the violation of law by certain other people.
     “Please advise your campaign workers to ensure that signs are placed on private property. Signs placed on the state, county or city rights of way may be picked up by the appropriate staff and placed in one of the department’s maintenance yards,” the statute shows.
     Each candidate, whether for a federal, state, county, or district office, shall make a good faith effort to remove all of his or her political campaign advertisements within 30 days after either the withdrawal of his or her candidacy; or having been eliminated as a candidate; or being elected to office.
     However, a candidate is not expected to remove those political campaign advertisements that are in the form of signs used by an outdoor advertising business as provided in chapter 479. 
     The provisions herein do not apply to political campaign advertisements placed on motor vehicles, such as bumper stickers, or to campaign messages designed to be worn by persons.
     If political campaign advertisements are not removed within the specified period, the political subdivision or governmental entity has the authority to remove such advertisements and may charge the candidate the actual cost of such removal. Funds collected for removing such advertisements shall be deposited to the general revenue of the political subdivision.
     Pursuant to chapter 479, no political campaign advertisements shall be erected, posted, painted, tacked, nailed, or otherwise displayed, placed or located on or above any state or county road right-of-way. 
     The officer before whom a candidate qualifies for office shall notify the candidate, in writing, of the provisions in this section. Supervisor of Elections Jones said she told every candidate in writing.
     This provision does not preclude municipalities from imposing additional or more stringent requirements on the usage and removal of political campaign advertisements.
     Some candidates place blame on others for putting signs in the rights of way.
     Another taxpayer cost from snipe signs in the rights of way is from the metal that is left behind and the damage it causes to mowers. 

 


Florida elections professionals
note upcoming elections are trustworthy

Information Provided
By Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones
Published April 26, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones and the Florida Supervisors of Elections (FSE) have partnered with Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, in support of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) #TrustedInfo2022 initiative.

     In preparation of the 2022 midterm elections, the voter education effort aims to promote state and local election officials as the trusted sources for election information.
     "The spread of misinformation and disinformation to influence voters and interfere with elections is a key concern," Florida Secretary of State Lee said. "We are grateful to be partnering with NASS and the Florida Supervisors of Elections for the #TrustedInfo2022 campaign to ensure that voters in Florida know that we are the trusted sources for elections information."
     Together, their goal is to ensure the integrity of Florida's elections and to support fair, honest and accurate elections in the State of Florida.
     As election professionals, they want to highlight their commitment to being the official trusted sources of election-related information. While there is a lot of information about voting and elections on the Internet at social media sites, not all of it is credible.
     The local supervisor of election's offices and the Florida Department of State will remain the credible, verified source for election information in the 2022 election cycle and beyond.
     Many election officials will use the #TrustedInfo2022 hashtag to flag official election information on social media and other sites.
     To learn more about NASS's #TrustedInfo2022 campaign, visit https://www.nass.org/can-I-vote. For trusted information about state and local election, visit the Levy County Supervisor of Election website https://www.votelevy.gov/, and the Florida Secretary of State Election Department's website at https://dos.myflorida.com/elections.

 


 



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