SATURDAY OCT. 16 9:11 a.m. Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
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NASA, ULA launch Lucy mission
to ‘fossils’ of planet formation
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Lucy spacecraft aboard is seen in this 2 minute and 30 second exposure photograph as it launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Lucy will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter's Trojan Asteroids. Like the mission's namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, "Lucy," whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity's evolution – Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system.
Photo By NASA/Bill Ingalls
Story and Photo Provided
By Karen Fox, Alana Johnson and Nancy Neal Jones
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Published Oct. 16, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
CAPE CANAVERAL -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Lucy mission, the agency’s first to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, launched at 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday (Oct. 16) on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
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Over the next 12 years, Lucy will fly by one main-belt asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids, making it the agency’s first single spacecraft mission in history to explore so many different asteroids. Lucy will investigate these “fossils” of planetary formation up close during its journey.
“Lucy embodies NASA’s enduring quest to push out into the cosmos for the sake of exploration and science, to better understand the universe and our place within it,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “I can’t wait to see what mysteries the mission uncovers!”
About an hour after launch, Lucy separated from the second stage of the ULA Atlas V 401 rocket. Its two massive solar arrays, each nearly 24 feet (7.3 meters) wide, successfully unfurled about 30 minutes later and began charging the spacecraft’s batteries to power its subsystems.
“Today’s launch marks a genuine full-circle moment for me as Lucy was the first mission I approved in 2017, just a few months after joining NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “A true mission of discovery, Lucy is rich with opportunity to learn more about these mysterious Trojan asteroids and better understand the formation and evolution of the early solar system.”
Lucy sent its first signal to Earth from its own antenna to NASA’s Deep Space Network at 6:40 a.m. today (Saturday, Oct. 16) The spacecraft is now traveling at roughly 67,000 mph (108,000 kph) on a trajectory that will orbit the Sun and bring it back toward Earth in October 2022 for a gravity assist of force to send it farther into space.
Named for the fossilized skeleton of one of our earliest known hominin ancestors, the Lucy mission will allow scientists to explore two swarms of Trojan asteroids that share an orbit around the Sun with Jupiter.
Scientific evidence indicates that Trojan asteroids are remnants of the material that formed giant planets. Studying them can reveal previously unknown information about their formation and our solar system’s evolution in the same way the fossilized skeleton of Lucy revolutionized our understanding of human evolution.
“We started working on the Lucy mission concept early in 2014, so this launch has been long in the making,” said Hal Levison, Lucy principal investigator, based out of the Boulder, Colorado, branch of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which is headquartered in San Antonio. “It will still be several years before we get to the first Trojan asteroid, but these objects are worth the wait and all the effort because of their immense scientific value. They are like diamonds in the sky.”
Lucy’s Trojan destinations are trapped near Jupiter’s Lagrange points – gravitationally stable locations in space associated with a planet’s orbit where smaller masses can be trapped. One swarm of Trojans is ahead of the gas giant planet, and another is behind it. The asteroids in Jupiter’s Trojan swarms are as far away from Jupiter as they are from the Sun.
The spacecraft’s first Earth gravity assist in 2022 will accelerate and direct Lucy’s trajectory beyond the orbit of Mars. The spacecraft will then swing back toward Earth for another gravity assist in 2024, which will propel Lucy toward the Donaldjohanson asteroid – located within the solar system’s main asteroid belt – in 2025.
Lucy will then journey toward its first Trojan asteroid encounter in the swarm ahead of Jupiter for a 2027 arrival. After completing its first four targeted flybys, the spacecraft will travel back to Earth for a third gravity boost in 2031, which will catapult it to the trailing swarm of Trojans for a 2033 encounter.
“Today we celebrate this incredible milestone and look forward to the new discoveries that Lucy will uncover,” said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering, plus safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA’s Discovery Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Discovery Program for the agency.
For more information about NASA's Lucy mission, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/lucy/overview/index.
NCBDC works toward hiring director
A picture of part of the Zoom meeting Thursday shows some of the participants. Some participants were using the same computer in the same room, although most people involved with this Zoom meeting had one computer for one person.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
INGLIS – A Zoom meeting of the Nature Coast (Levy County) Business Development Council Thursday afternoon (Oct. 14) showed the NCBDC is continuing to work toward hiring a director to replace Executive Director David Pieklik, who accepted a job in Citrus County about 10 months ago.
George Buckner III, Joyce Wilson, Philip Geist, Greg Galpin, Denny George, Dorothy Pernu and others were “in attendance” at the Zoom meeting, which was recorded. Pernu became the next suggested member of the group, which is apparently in a bit of disarray as far as actual active members, as best as could be understood from the spotty Zoom connection on Thursday afternoon.
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners will consider the NCBDC’s recommendation of Pernu and at least one other person to be on the NCBDC Board. One person who was asked Thursday to join the group essentially declined the invitation at the outset, although as the meeting dragged on, she may have been coaxed into joining.
As for a replacement for Pieklik, three candidates for NCBDC executive director have been interviewed and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is reportedly helping to vet this final set of frontrunners. Another round of interviews may be on the horizon.
In June, six months after Pieklik left and there was still no director for the NCBDC, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners – under which the NCBDC previously has served -- took more action to find a replacement for the vacant post of Nature Coast Business Development Council executive director.
An agreement with CareerSource CLM is making the county able to offer a better benefits package to whomever the NCBDC and County Commission choose as the next executive director.
The NCBDC has a long and storied past in Levy County, some that was good and some that was not so good -- including when its executive director in 2010 was formally charged with two counts of grand theft and two counts of scheme to defraud in connection with money missing from NCBDC accounts.
Eighth Judicial Circuit Assistant State Attorney Glenn Bryan confirmed back then that person had made restitution of the funds, and she was released on her own recognizance after her arrest.
Among the bits of business news shared during the catch-as-catch-can spotty Zoom broadcast of the NCBDC meeting, was the level of progress with the Popeyes in Williston and Chiefland. The one in Williston continues to thrive and the one in Chiefland is going to open soon.
The KFC across the street from the upcoming Popeyes in Chiefland is seeing customers regularly now too.
A boat-builder in Chiefland, who had moved the company from Dixie County to property it bought from Central Florida Electric Cooperative – at the old CFEC office complex, has found more property in Alachua County.
The company reportedly anticipates continuing with its Chiefland operations in a support role for the expansion at the Alachua County property, according to information shared at the NCBDC meeting Thursday.
There was news about a couple of other big chain retail outlets building in Williston, next to the Popeyes at the easternmost municipality of the eight incorporated cities and towns in Levy County. One of the new retail outlets is a tractor supply company and the other is an auto parts store.
There may be a possible Frito Lay distribution center near Chiefland, if a local Realtor can find property the company wants for that purpose, according to information shared at the NCBDC meeting. There is a solar farm planned for construction by Duke Energy, as had been covered in the daily news website.
Indoor medical marijuana farming operations are seen as being attractive now to the NCBDC for an enterprising interest to invite to build in Levy County, because they consume a lot of electricity and provide many good-paying jobs. However, there was no specific company mentioned as starting a marijuana-growing process in Levy County.
There seemed to be some sort of attempt at making a snide comment about people who use medical marijuana, but the Zoom connection for the NCBDC -- compared with the good one earlier in the day by the Gilchrist Anti-Drug Coalition -- caused a lot of the business group’s information to be lost.
About 50 percent of that meeting went into the ether of bad Internet service in rural North Florida. This is detrimental for business interests looking at Levy County – bad Internet service.
Business developers look at several things before buying property and building. Some foundations for investors to consider before building include existing infrastructure, the existing available workforce, the existing housing available, connections to highways, etc.
Before the Zoom connection cut out, there was an early part of the meeting where the NCBDC announced in its financial statement that the group has about $85,000 in its account as of the latest figures reported Thursday.
For Estate Planning Offered Oct. 21
By Sheila K. Smith, Financial Advisor
Published Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
NEWBERRY -- When it comes to an estate, even if a person has taken no action at all, he or she has an estate plan. The "default plan" may be determined by the laws of their state of residence.
Sheila Smith, a financial advisor with Edward Jones invites people to her presentation of Script Your Family's Future: Why You Need an Estate Plan.
The discussion will include strategies to consider when planning an estate, including:
* How your assets are distributed to your family;
* Who will take care of your minor or special needs children? and
* Who will make medical or financial decisions for you if you can't make them yourself?
Important Webinar Details:
Date and time: Thursday Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. (Eastern)
If you'd like to attend, click the following link. Please note, you no longer need to dial in to hear the audio presentation. If the link does not work, please copy and paste it into your computer's address bar.
Meeting password: Thursday
Joining us will be Leigh Cangelosi from Grunder and Petteway, who will be available to answer questions.
If this is your first time using web conferencing, please click the link 10 minutes prior to the start time to allow time to download the necessary software. When you click Join, four audio options will appear:
Use computer for audio - Choose this option if speakers and microphone are attached to your computer or if you can change your headset/headphones, speakers and microphone. If you're unsure, choose the next option.
Call me - We recommended using this option to save the expense of a phone call. Click "Call Me". When "Enter phone number appears", enter your phone number in the box, and click "Call Me".
Call in - If you click "Call in", you'll receive the phone number, access code and attendee ID needed to call in and join the event. Long-distance rates may apply, depending on your phone plan.
Don't connect with audio - This option is used if you are on the telephone with your financial advisor or branch office administrator and he or she starts a WebEx conference.
If you join from a mobile device:
Download the Cisco WebEx app at the App Store (iPhone) or at Google Play (Android).
You will receive an email from Edward Jones containing a link to join.
Your screen will list four Audio Connection options. Choose the second option, "Call Me".
On the next screen click "Add Phone Number".
Enter your phone number and then click the plus sign.
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
For Women Business Owners
Published Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.
NEWBERRY-- If you’re a woman who owns a business, you may have some challenges not shared by your male peers – but you also have several opportunities to help improve your financial future. You may already be taking some or all the right steps, but here are some ideas to be sure you’re considering and revisiting as your business grows:
• Refresh your network. Are you involved in networking with other women business owners? Many of them may have insights into the issues women face in the business world, as well as suggestions about lending programs and business-friendly banks. You may also enjoy passing along your lessons learned to others.
• Review your business structure. If you go into business as a sole proprietor, you’ll have to report your business income on your personal income tax return. If you incorporate or form a limited liability company (LLC), you can protect your personal assets – such as your house and your investments – from creditors because these assets will be separated from your business assets and debts. You might also consider other, more complex entities, known as C and S corporations. There’s no single “correct” business structure and the most appropriate one for you may change over time, so, in choosing one that’s right for your needs, you’ll want to consult with your tax and legal advisors.
• Do an insurance checkup. To protect yourself and your business, you may want to review your insurance to make sure you have the right kinds and amount of coverage. General liability insurance can be appropriate for sole proprietors, if you’ve established an LLC or you’ve incorporated your business. If you provide some type of professional service (i.e., legal, accounting, engineering and so on), you might need professional liability insurance. And no matter what business you own, you might want to add disability insurance to replace some of the income you’d lose if you were injured or became ill.
• Consider all your retirement options. If you’ve got your own business, you’re solely responsible for funding your retirement. Fortunately, as a business owner, you’ve got several attractive options, including an “owner-only” 401(k), a SEP-IRA and a SIMPLE IRA. In deciding which plan is right for you, you’ll need to consider several factors, including the number of employees, if any, and the nature of your business. However, all these plans are relatively easy to set up and administer and offer potential tax benefits. And even though you’ve got plenty to do already, you should make the time to establish or review your own retirement plan – because eventually you’ll need all the resources you can accumulate to enjoy life as a former business owner.
You can also find valuable information on programs for women business owners by visiting the Small Business Administration’s website at www.sba.gov and searching for “women-owned businesses.”
Running your own business can be challenging – but by making some positive financial moves and getting the support you need, you can also find business ownership to be highly rewarding, personally and professionally.
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. Edward Jones is a licensed insurance producer in all states and Washington, D.C., through Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., and in California, New Mexico and Massachusetts through Edward Jones Insurance Agency of California, L.L.C.; Edward Jones Insurance Agency of New Mexico, L.L.C.; and Edward Jones Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, L.L.C.
Chamber's scarecrow contest
continues to thrive in south Levy County
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 30, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
INGLIS-YANKEETOWN – Since at least 2015, the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce has sponsored an annual scarecrow contest.
The first place winner is presented with an Annually Rotating Plaque, with the complements of the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses and other organizations can enter by sending an email with their name and the physical location of their scarecrow to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 25.
Scarecrows must be completed by Oct. 29. Judging is scheduled to be on the morning of Oct. 30.
Scarecrows are judged by:
● Originality and/or Creativity;
● Workmanship and/or Attention to Detail; and
● Presentation and/or Crowd Appeal from the Street.
New Sign Installed At The Ink Pad
Jeff M. Hardison stands next to The Ink Pad sign installed Thursday (Sept. 30) by B4 Signs & Advertising. This metal sign is a replacement for the wooden sign that succumbed after a giant pine tree limb and then a big oak tree limb destroyed the former sign. Hardison, the sole proprietor of HardisonInk.com, an 11-year-old daily news website, said he is glad to have this second sign from B4 Signs & Advertising.
The graphic art was created years ago by Sharon Hardison, a multiple award-winning graphic artist who volunteers on occasion for the daily news website. The Ink Pad is located in the unrecorded subdivision known as Jemlands in the woods in the unincorporated part of Levy County about four miles west of State Road 345 and about one mile south of Levy County Road 347.
Photo By Sharon Hardison © Sept. 30, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
Derelict vessel removal grant funding available for local governments
By the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Published Sept. 29, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is continuing to accept applications for Derelict Vessel Removal Grants submitted by State of Florida local governments.
These grants are available only for local governments. They may not be requested by private citizens or non-governmental organizations.
These funds will be available through January of 2022 under the FY 21 DV Program budget.
The FWC will receive, review and award grants on a first-come first-served basis through January 2022 or until all funding has been depleted.
The FWC then will begin receiving applications under the FY22 budget funding. Grants must be awarded and executed before derelict vessel removal projects are started.
Local governments may submit completed applications to: Phil.Horning@MyFWC.com or Jennifer.Tyler@MyFWC.com, or to the FWC Grant Program email at DVGrant@MyFWC.com. (Hardcopy applications are not required to be mailed at this time.)
Disabled Vessel Program Grant Guidelines and Application may be found by clicking HERE.
Learn about bachelor programs
in business at CF
By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published Sept. 27, 2021 at 12:11 p.m.
OCALA — The College of Central Florida is scheduled to host virtual information sessions for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management program.
Sessions are scheduled to be held Monday, Oct. 18, from noon to 1 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Join advisors, administrators and faculty for informational sessions about the bachelor program, which offers specializations in Accounting, Agribusiness, Equine Studies, Management Information Systems, Health Care Management, Public Safety Administration, and Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Learn about program design, affordability and the admissions process.
For additional information and to register for the events, which will be presented via Zoom, click HERE.
Gilchrist County Commission
approves special use permit
for storage units
Governor appoints new surgeon general
Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby (left) and Gilchrist County Attorney David M. Lang Jr. provide information and guidance Monday evening (Sept. 20) as the County Commission makes decisions.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 22, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
TRENTON – While the Monday evening (Sept. 21) meeting of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) opened on a somber note with the announcement of County Commissioner Darrell Smith (Dist. 3) being absent due to the death of his father, the other four members -- -- moved forward to help the residents and visitors of the county known to be “The Springs Capital Of The World.”
The Gilchrist County Commission performed its duties at the twice-monthly regular meeting.
As part of his prayer near the outset of the meeting, Commission Vice Chairman William “Bill” Martin (Dist. 2) included a prayer for God to give comfort to the Smith family in this time, in the name of Jesus.
County Commission Chairman Sharon Akins Langford (Dist. 1), and commissioners Marion Poitevint Dist. 4) and Kenrick Thomas (Dist. 5) joined in this pray as well as the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, just as all of the members of the audience did Monday evening. Commission Chairman Langford led the meeting.
Gilchrist County Attorney David M. Lang Jr., Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby, Gilchrist County Clerk Todd Newton, Director of Finance Richard Romans, Deputy Gilchrist County Clerk (and BOCC secretary) Terri Hilliard, Gilchrist County Emergency Management Director Ralph Smith, Gilchrist County Fire Chief James Campbell, Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Stephen Stalvey are among the county workers participating in the meeting to varying degrees. Of course, Sgt. Stalvey works for Sheriff Bobby Schultz, and he was in the meeting to provide security for the County Commission, county employees and for the residents and visitors of Gilchrist County who were in the audience at this meeting.
Among the many items considered and completed was the approval of a special use permit (SUP) for storage units. This SUP is a required part of the process for development to proceed on this project by an entrepreneur.
County Attorney Lang presented the matters for consideration by the County Commission regarding this potential future set of structures.
Joe Montalto Jr., P.E., of JMJ Consulting Engineering speaks to the County Commission about a plan for a future storage yard to be on the south side of SR 26 just east of Trenton. Montalto is working for A4 Capital LLC. As for A4 Capital LLC, John M. ‘Jay’ Ayers III is the owner and Lyndsey P. Ayers is the agent for A4 Capital LLC, according to records in the Florida Secretary of State’s Office. On this project, Montalto is the applicant for the Special Use Permit, as he represents his client A4 Capital LLC.
This picture shows one of the slides shared with the County Commission and audience members. The spelling of the future storage units’ name may be incorrectly noted as ‘Ayres’ rather than ‘Ayers.’ Gilchrist County Attorney David M. Lang Jr. mentioned this type of typographical errors in legal documents is known as a scrivener’s error. The legal doctrine of Scrivener’s Errors refers to the principle that a typographical mistake in a contract may be corrected by the courts, provided that evidence convincingly shows that there was a mistake. Attorney Lang intimated that if this is an incorrect spelling, it can be corrected before the final development is approved.
In this slide, people can see the development’s two phases. The top or northern section of the property is Phase I. Jay Ayers said that the success of the first phase will dictate the timing for starting the second phase. He also mentioned that the square footage of the two phases for storage will remain the same, but depending on market demand, he may change some aspects from this initial layout. In this drawing, the green area is landscaping, and the blue area is dry retention areas for water runoff. Every other part is impervious to rainwater. The Suwannee River Water Management District is responsible to review water runoff matters. The Florida Department of Transportation is foreseen as becoming involved to determine if a turn lane will be needed on State Road 26 as a result of this development.
The request for the SUP came from the A4 Capital LLC owner, and Joe Montalto Jr., P.E., JMJ Consulting Engineering, serving in this matter before the BOCC as applicant and agent.
John M. “Jay” Ayers III is the owner and Lyndsey P. Ayers is the agent for A4 Capital LLC overall, according to records in the Florida Secretary of State’s Office.
This SUP approval is a step required to allow the construction of an RV, boat, and mini-storage yard, in an Industrial land use category located on approximately 9.92 acres, more or less, with location described by the Gilchrist County Property Appraiser’s Office as 8439 S.E. Seventh Court, Trenton.
The SUP procedures are provided in Section 12.03 of the Gilchrist County Land Development Code. An SUP is required to be generally compatible and harmonious with the uses and structures on adjacent and nearby properties.
The subject property consists of an approximately 9.92-acre parcel located adjacent to and south of State Road 26, just east of the Trenton City Limits at the intersection of SR 26 and Southeast Seventh Court.
The name of the development currently appears to be J. Ayers RV/Boat and Mini-Storage Yard, according to information shared Monday evening.
The owner and applicant are proposing that the project will be constructed in two phases. Phase I will include 63,000 square-feet more or less, an office, the stormwater retention basins for both Phase I and II and other utility infrastructure.
Phase II will include 67,000 square-feet and six employee parking spaces. A loading area is currently set to be included in Phase I.
After some discussion, on a motion by County Commissioner Martin, seconded by Commissioner Thomas, the request for SUP was approved by a 4-0 vote.
There are caveats to the approval, including one that went a tad beyond the staff recommendation.
Apparently, owner Ayers has allowed a tenant to live in a mobile home on the property. That man and the trailer in which he resides will remain for three years, or until Phase II of the J. Ayers RV/Boat and Mini-Storage Yard project construction begins.
County staff, based on zoning codes and Florida law, had recommended the existing mobile home located on the subject property be removed from the premises even prior to approval of the Preliminary Site and Development Plan.
Attorney Lang explained that if Ayers wanted to revise his development plan to include a section for residential use and a section for industrial level of development, then that may be possible. During the meeting Monday, Ayers said he is not doing that.
County Administrator Crosby suggested the three-year or start of Phase II construction time limits, noting at the outset of his suggestion that is going far beyond staff recommendation.
Ayers sought more time to leave the mobile home on the property but settled for the three-year or start of construction on Phase II limit for the man who is watching the property to live there, before that mobile home must be removed.
Other staff recommendations allowing for the subject property to be approved include the following conditions:
● The applicant shall limit development on the site to that which is shown by the application submitted and as described as shown on the Special Use Permit Plans provided by the applicant.
● Regarding a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) for the County Commission’s review prior to approval of any future Preliminary Site and Development Plan, the engineer for Ayers mentioned the Florida Department of Transportation and the county engineer are working on data regarding the potential necessity of turn lanes off of SR 26 for ingress and egress to the subject property.
● Approval of the Special Use Permit is contingent upon the applicant following the proper procedures and vacating and returning to acreage both of the recorded subdivisions known as Pine Ridge and Prairie View.
Finally, the calculation of six parking spaces as suggested by the applicant and the sufficiency of such for the development was discussed by the County Commission and the engineer for the project. The County Commission determined at the Special Use Permit hearing that although current code would require many more additional parking spaces, the transient nature of people storing boats, RVs and other items will not require so many parking spaces.
There is an area provided for vehicles with trailers to park near the office when the drivers check in. The paved throughways between the units are areas for short-term parking as well.
Preparation of the Preliminary Site and Development Plan for the project can move forward now that the SUP is approved. The proposed use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code for use of the premises for an RV, boat, and mini-storage yard in this Industrial Land Use District, according to what the County Commission decided.
Regarding the appropriate landscaping that is necessary to buffer the development in accordance with land development code, the County Commission determined the applicant met or exceeded the mandatory minimum requirements.
The applicant and owner shall obtain all necessary and required permits from the Suwannee River Water Management District for surface-water management on-site, and from the Florida Department of Health’s unit that serves Gilchrist County for water well and septic systems on the premises.
An application for preliminary site and development plan approval shall be submitted within one year of approval of the Special Use Permit by the Board of County Commissioners.
Governor appoints new surgeon general
Coincidently with the Sept. 20 meeting of the Gilchrist County Commission, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, who also served as the secretary of the Florida Department of Health, completed his last day of service in those posts as of that day (Monday Sept. 20). Dr. Rivkees’ resignation comes amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. The doctor and the governor who appointed him disagreed about the benefits of smoking medical marijuana and on whether facemasks reduce the odds for transmitting germs.
Dr. Rivkees is a doctor and a university-level educator. Gov. Ron DeSantis is a politician.
On Tuesday (Sept. 21), Gov. DeSantis announced his new choice for surgeon general of the state.
Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, M.D., Ph.D., as Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) caring for hospitalized patients, the press release noted.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, Dr. Ladapo holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the press release noted.
“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Ladapo will lead the Florida Department of Health as our state’s next Surgeon General,” DeSantis said. “Dr. Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with a superb background. He has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research. Dr. Ladapo will bring great leadership to the Department of Health. I would also like to thank both Dr. Scott Rivkees and Dr. Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.”
County Administrator Cosby and the County Commission agreeing by 4-0 votes with his recommendations on the following matters, including the coincidence of the Florida Department of Health serving the residents and visitors in Gilchrist County.
The County Commission:
● Approved the contract between the Gilchrist County Board Of County Commissioners and the State of Florida Department of Health (FDOH) for operation of the Gilchrist County Health Department in the contract year 2021-2022. Dr. Ladapo now heads the FDOH. The state fiscal year is from July 1 through June 30. The county fiscal year is from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
● Approved the agreement for annual monitoring of hazardous waste generators with North Central Florida Regional Planning Council
● Approved the Gilchrist County EMS write-offs. After Gilchrist County Fire Chief Campbell reviewed the county’s older billing system, the Clerk’s Office presented him with six old accounts. These accounts range from three to 10 years old, where people have been making minimum payments. These accounts are on an old billing system that the county has limited access to. The total of these six accounts is $2,975.31. As noted, the County Commission approved the write-off of this older debt in order to completely close out the old billing system from pre-2018.
● Approved the cost share agreement with Levy County for Guardian Ad Litem Services. The parties acknowledge that there has been no change in rent or other costs The applicable percentage for Levy County shall be 76 percent and the applicable percentage for Gilchrist County shall be 24 percent. County Administrator Cosby said this percentage is based on the previous year’s use of the service, and that this year shows a slight reduction from the previous year.
● Approved a task order for engineering services impact fee evaluation study for $6,250 as the first part of a two-part evaluation by North Florida Professional Services lnc. of the value of restarting impact fees. The cost of the second part of the study will depend on information gained from the first part of the study, County Administrator Cosby explained. Commissioner Martin asked if the funds to pay for this can come from the previously accepted impact fees, and the county administrator explained these funds will come from the general fund rather than that fund. There are very specific uses for money collected by the government.
● Approved Emergency Management Director Smith and County Attorney Lang working with the City of Bell regarding a $246,000 grant for EMS related to COVID-19 that was awarded to that small municipality, which lacks its very own separate ambulance service, etc. The COVID-19 public health crisis and resulting economic crisis have put state, local, and tribal governments under unprecedented strain, according to the United States Department of the Treasury. The Treasury Department is providing needed relief to state, local and tribal governments to enable them to continue to support the public health response and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery. Part of that set of methods is the American Rescue Plan Act. ARPA provides $350 billion in emergency funding for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs.
● Completed the final budget hearing for the coming fiscal year, including matters related to Municipal Service Taxing Units.
Students learn while working
(from left) Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Rick Washburn stands with people from WBLE -- Director Mandy Brock, Juan Henley, Nathan Allen, Dalton Hitchcock, Ian Hickey, Andrea Bagby, Braxton Bivens and April Akins.
Story and Photo Provided
By Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Rick Washburn
Published Sept. 21, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
TRENTON -- The Gilchrist County Rotary Club welcomeD a very amazing group at its meeting this week, when the meeting was conducted at the Trenton Woman's Club on Monday (Sept. 20).
The great students and teachers from Bell and Trenton who are involved with the ‘Work Based Learning Experience” (WBLE) Program were the club's guests, as well as the day's program presenters.
The WBLE is a relatively new program to Gilchrist County Schools only beginning about three years ago under the direction of April Akins.
This year there are 11 Bell and nine Trenton students who are benefiting from this program under the direction of Mandy Brock.
Designed for students in grades nine and past grade 12, up to age 22 years old, the WBLE works with local business owners to provide work-based training and hands on working in a real work environment.
The kids (and adults) benefit by building skills and behaviors that are required for the workplace, gain confidence and self-esteem. The program provides learners with guidance in preparing résumés and has helped participants in the development of their interview skills.
The goal of the program is to transition the students from school into a job placement.
This year, the program has seen students find work. The effort is paying off.
Funded through a vocational rehabilitation program, the WBLE program has raised funds for vehicles to transport students to the businesses where they are working, including a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Teachers Andrea Bagby at Bell and Juan Henley at Trenton highlighted some of the values of the program before sharing a slideshow with the students at various businesses and events in the area. Quick stories were shared of how a student would help an auto parts store organize its backroom shelves, a floral shop clean up after the preparation of a planter, a local business with cleaning of their vehicles, the landscaping and sanitation done for the school buildings and the monthly assistance with the local food bank.
The Rotarians and other guests beyond the WBLE were then introduced to four incredible young men Nathan, Dalton, Ian and Braxton as they shared some of their experiences with the program and the jobs they perform weekly.
They each beamed with pride in sharing what they did and some skills they learned. Skills such as having a schedule for each day and following it, performing tasks for different classes and areas and knowing what needs to be done and gathering/sorting and distributing mail for both school locations were mentioned by these participants.
The list of local businesses who have partnered with the WBLE program include restaurants/cafeterias, floral shops, kid care/pre-K, a library, retail stores, manufacturing, farming and a senior center. There is something special about local businesses who invest in the lives of the students that makes the future of this great county look even brighter.
Please contact Mandy Brock, Director of Special Programs at 352-463-3153 if you are interested in partnering your business with this great program.
Cedar Key Historical Society Museum
unveils new interactive exhibit
Edward Gonzales-Tennant, Ph.D., unveils the exhibit that includes information kiosk.
Story and Photos
By C.L. Watson, HardisonInk Correspondent
© Sept. 18, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The Cedar Key Historical Society held a members’ and invitation-only unveiling of the African American Exhibit on Aug. 28.
No vacant seats for the unveiling of African American exhibit. Attendance required the groups be split in two to fit in the available space of Lutterloh building and Andrews house.
Albert Fulton, Brian Dempsey, Leon Fuller and Carolyn Cohens were all guest speakers during the unveiling of the African American exhibit at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum.
Guests were entertained by Reggie Stacy in the Lutterloh building during the unveiling of the African American exhibit the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum.
The event had such a great attendance it had to be split into being conducted in two buildings at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, 609 Second St. in Cedar Key. One group of guests enjoyed entertainment by Reggie Stacy while the other group listened to the guest speakers.
Stacy is a Bronson resident who sings country music, southern rock, songs from the 1980s and 1990s and Gospel music.
Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, Ph.D., opened the unveiling by thanking Cedar Key Historical Society Executive Director Anna White Hodges and her husband Mike Hodges for their contribution to the event. Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant thanked Diana Gonzalez-Tennant for creating the exhibit.
When asked what led to the development of this new exhibit, Cedar Key Historical Society Executive Director Hodges answered that it was a missing part of Cedar Key’s diverse cultural history.
Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant spoke about the rich black history in the Cedar Keys. Among the examples from the 1880s included a one-time city mayor, a constable and two aldermen who were all of African descent.
Local author Carolyn Cohens of Chiefland, who wrote two books on Levy County, was the second speaker. Her book titled Levy County is part of the Black American Series and was published in 2006. Cohens is known for her artwork as well, and she has historically served as the emcee during an annual event in the Levy County Courthouse during Black History Month.
Cohens highlighted photos and composing stories from this book. The second book is part of the Images of America series titled Levy County was published in 2009. Cohens introduced descendants of early African American brothers Fulton Strong and Dan Strong to the guests. The descendants who shared brief moments growing up around the area were Albert Fulton, Brian Dempsey and Leon Fuller. Gregory Black with the Rosewood Heritage Foundation spoke about being a descendant of the early Rosewood settlers.
Lastly, speaker Sheree Dupree spoke. She introduced herself as being involved with Levy County for more than 40 years. She highlighted historic African American churches and schools located on the island of Cedar Key.
Following the guest speakers, Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant returned to unveil an informational kiosk and the African American Exhibit. The exhibit and rack cards were funded through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. There were 2,000 rack cards printed for distribution at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum and throughout Levy County.
The flyers contain a timeline of local African American history from 1860 to 1950. The other side of the flyer has a scannable QR code that is directed to the Cedar Key African American History walking tour website.
The Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, 609 2nd St., Cedar Key includes two historic buildings for guests to tour. The cost for non-members is $3 per person.
It is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and it is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the nonprofit organization’s website at https://cedarkeyhistory.org/ for upcoming events.
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