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CEDAR KEY — Miss eating your favorite shellfish in restaurants? Never tasted delicious Cedar Key clams? Come pick up a bag of FREE clams to enjoy on this Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 25, from 1-4 pm. Drive through the parking lot of B&E Seafood located at 7431 SW State Road 24, Cedar Key (5 miles east of #4 Channel Bridge, nearby the Marathon gas station).

Clams will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis with a limit of one 75-count bag per family. Must bring a cooler with an ice pack or frozen jug; ice will not be available. Recipes and handling information will be provided.

Thanks to the following Cedar Key wholesalers: B&E Seafood, Big Moon Seafood, Cedar Key Aquaculture Farms, Cedar Key Seafood Distributors, Cedar Shoals, Clamtastics, Davis Seafarms, Dog Island Blues Clam Co., Sloan’s Seafood, Southern Cross Seafarms, and Quality Shellfish. Sponsored by the Cedar Key Aquaculture Association and University of Florida/IFAS Shellfish Extension.

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GAINESVILLE –Alachua County Farm Bureau has awarded three $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors from ACFB member-families.

“Alachua County Farm Bureau has been providing financial help to high school graduates who plan to go on to college or other forms of higher education for decades,” said ACFB President Winston Rushing. “We are proud to carry on this tradition.”

The recipients are:

  • Jessie Lee, daughter of Robbie and Tracy Lee of Cross City, who will graduate from Dixie County High School. She indicated Florida State University is her top choice.
  • Alice Burnett, daughter of Garrett and Kirsten Burnett of High Springs, Fla., who will graduate from Santa Fe High School. Alice plans to attend Florida State University.
  • Eric Hester,, son of Eric and Summer Hester of Newberry. He will graduate from Newberry High School and plans to attend Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee.

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ALACHUA COUNTY - Today, concerning Alachua County's authority to make masks mandatory, Judge Donna M. Keim of the 8th Circuit Court hearing denied the request for an emergency injunction motion, on all counts. This serves as a good reminder that the County's Emergency Order requiring mandatory masking is within the County's authority, and cities are required to follow the Order. Cities may issue orders that are stricter than the County orders, but not more lenient.

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GAINESVILLE - On Friday, May 22, The Southeastern Conference Presidents voted to allow student-athletes to participate in voluntary in-person athletics activities on campus beginning June 8.

UF Health officials, along with University Athletic Association (UAA) Athletic Training, Strength and Hawkins Center staffs have prepared protocols for student-athletes to use our training facilities, which will focus on a gradual return of student athletes to campus over the course of the summer. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAA has been working closely with state, campus & UF Health officials.

One thing to note is that all student-athletes, coaches and UAA staff will be screened and tested for COVID through the UF Health program before coming back to campus or utilizing training facilities.

Attached, please see a copy of an executive summary of the program. Below is a quote from Athletics Director Scott Stricklin. We've also attached a copy of the current phasing and testing plan of our student athletes.

"Our student athlete wellness group has been working for some time with UF Health officials on a plan to integrate our student athletes back on campus," said Athletics Director Scott Stricklin.  "They have developed a gradual phasing program, so that we don't have an influx of a large number of student athletes returning at once. Football, Volleyball and Soccer teams will return in phases within those teams in the month of June. Our student athletes will be screened and tested through a partnership program with UF Health and our staff has worked with a number of experts to promote a safer environment for the return of our Gator student athletes."

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GAINESVILLE - Infotech, a leader in infrastructure construction software solutions, announced today a partnership with University of Florida M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management to advance the transportation construction industry. This strategic partnership will connect critical industry research directly with users in the field by advancing technology offered in the transportation construction industry.

“UF Rinker is one of the top construction management schools in the U.S., conducting advanced research on BIM, IFC standards and other technologies needed on the jobsite today,” Will McClave, Infotech President of Systems, said. “Infotech has a longstanding relationship with the University of Florida and this new partnership will help bring critical research to the field faster so that we can collectively move the industry forward.”

Led by assistant professor Aaron Costin, Ph.D., Rinker has been conducting research on many key issues facing the transportation construction industry today. With the rapid adoption of new, integrated technologies and the evolution of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on infrastructure projects, it became a top priority for Infotech to coordinate efforts with one of the leading academic programs that addresses these market shifts.

“Infotech is in a unique position to drive the adoption of innovative and emerging technologies that are impacting the transportation construction industry across the country,” Dr. Costin said. “Our new partnership will lead us to better ways of implementing research and focus our joint efforts on BIM and the data standards needed to reach our common objective of advancing this space.”

Prior to this formal partnership, Dr. Costin and Infotech hosted the first workshop on Linked Building Data and Semantic Web Technologies in September 2019, which included national and international expert speakers. Dr. Costin is an expert on linked data in architecture and construction and has served on many committees for the Transportation Research Board and other international groups on this topic, in addition to authoring multiple peer-reviewed articles. “It’s exciting for me to work with a company who has such deep roots in the transportation construction space, so that I can share my research and knowledge in order to shorten the curve to enlightened product development that meets or exceeds the needs of the industry both today and tomorrow.”

As the contract developer of AASHTOWare Project™, which is used by 43 Departments of Transportation across the country, and the developer of the Bid Express® service, which has managed more than $1 trillion in bids on infrastructure projects, Infotech has always been a leader in e-Construction and the digitization of traditional paper processes that include electronic bidding, site inspection, document management, invoicing and payments. “UF, my alma mater, has been a driving force behind a tremendous amount of research for TRB, BIM, IFC standards, ontologies and data schemas, and so much more,” McClave added. “Infotech needs to consider that intelligence as we develop our strategies and incorporate these efforts into future product development.”

The first initiative UF Rinker and Infotech will focus on is BIM and its impact on the infrastructure construction industry.

“With the growing need for data standards and the adoption of BIM for infrastructure across the transportation industry, it became obvious to us that it was time to take the necessary steps to collaborate on a greater scale with Aaron Costin and his team of experts at UF.”

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GAINESVILLE – The Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin a resurfacing project next month on Hawthorne Road (State Road 20) in Gainesville.

The project is set to begin on June 1, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting, and take place from State Road 26 (University Avenue) to just east of County Road 329B. In addition to resurfacing, the $4 million, approximately 4-mile project will include sidewalk and drainage improvements, as well as other incidental construction.

FDOT has hired Preferred Materials, Inc., to complete the work.

Daytime lane closures are expected through the course of the project, and some nighttime construction activities are expected. However, lane closure restrictions will be in place during peak times to limit impacts to motorists. Lane closures are not allowed from:

  • 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday from University Avenue (State Road 26) to Southeast 21st Street
  • 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday on Hawthorne Road (Eastbound) from Southeast 21st Street to County Road 329B
  • 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Sunday on Hawthorne Road (Westbound) from Southeast 21st Street to County Road 329B
  • 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday on University Avenue (State Road 26)
  • In school zones, from one hour before school begins to 30 minutes after school begins, and one hour before school ends to 30 minutes after school ends

The project is expected to be completed later this year.

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ALACHUA COUNTY - Alachua County Public Schools is reaching out to the residents of Alachua County to ask for help in honoring the Class of 2020.

Because of COVID-19, this year’s graduating high school seniors have missed out on many senior year traditions, including proms, Grad Bash, and awards ceremonies.

The district is finalizing plans for a combination of activities, programs and events to celebrate graduates, but is also asking local citizens to display messages of support for the Class of 2020 sometime during the period from May 26 through June 10, which is the final day the district will be holding graduation ceremonies. That could include messages on marquees/signs at businesses, churches, schools and other organizations, yard signs, even signs in windows or along fence lines at homes and businesses.

“We’d like everyone’s help in blanketing the area with messages so that any students and families who may be out and about will know that this community is behind them,” said the district’s Director of Communications Jackie Johnson. “Even a ‘We love the Class of 2020!’ in shoe polish on a car window will be meaningful.”

Johnson is also asking local citizens to share their messages on social media. The district plans to post some of the more creative messages seen around the community on its Facebook (@AlachuaCountyPublicSchools) and Twitter (@AlachuaSchools), and is encouraging people to use #WeLoveACPSGrads on Twitter.

The district is currently working with local media outlets to honor the Class of 2020 in other ways. Through a collaboration with CBS4 and with the support of Scorpio Construction and other local sponsors, graduation videos will be broadcast on the station featuring the names and photos of graduating seniors from each of the district’s seven high schools. The district is also working with the Gainesville Sun on a special insert highlight the Class of 2020 that is being sponsored by Florida Credit Union and other supporters

“I’ve been so heartened by the number of individuals, businesses and organizations that have reached out to find out how they can support our graduating seniors,” said Superintendent Karen Clarke. “They want the students to know that they recognize what they’ve missed and that they deserve recognition.”

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