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ALACHUA – The Turkey Creek Golf Course restoration is moving forward. The course has been aerated and calcium has been applied to stimulate root growth. In addition, the recent showers are helping.

The next large project is to get the sprinkler system operational again. Currently there is an initiative to replace all 362 sprinkler heads at a cost of $300 per sprinkler. The cost includes installation, wiring, and the electronic computer boards. If anyone is interested in a sprinkler sponsorship they are available.

Also, the Turkey Creek Golf LLC has decided to sell partial shares. As little as one-tenth a share ($500) can be purchased. Some restrictions may apply, but dividends will be paid.

It is anticipated that in the middle of May 2018 the former Mulligans will be reopened as the “Chef Brothers at the 19th Hole” restaurant.

Last, but not least, there are a variety of advertising and promotional opportunities available from the Leaderboard to the tee markers. All reasonably priced and sure to be seen by a great many people as they play our course.

For more information please call 386-518-6815 or stop by the office located at the entrance of the subdivision.

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HIGH SPRINGS – Spring is a great time to enjoy North Florida’s springs. From Wednesday, April 11 through Sunday, April 15, 25 local and out of town emerging and professional artists will be painting the springs of the Santa Fe River as part of the 2018 Santa Fe Springs Plein Air Paintout.

The schedule for painting includes details on Public Viewing Days. Artists will paint during normal operating hours at each location.

Wednesday Apr. 11 – Artists Painting Days

Various Springs locations - Artists Choice

Thursday April 12 – Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, 7450 NE 60th St, High Springs, FL 32643

Painting - Public Viewing Day (State Park fees, $4 per person or $6 per car.) Artists will be painting throughout the park.

Friday April 13 – Ginnie Springs, 7300 Ginnie Springs Rd, High Springs, FL 32643

Painting - Public Viewing Day ($12 Entrance Fee) Artists will be painting throughout the park.

Saturday April 14 – Artists Painting Days

Various Springs locations - Artists Choice

Sunday April 15 – Downtown High Springs

Painting - Public Viewing Day - Artists will be painting throughout downtown High Springs followed by a Special Art Preview Pop Up Show at Great Outdoors’ Opera House

Exhibit Schedule

Once completed, the paintings will be available for viewing and purchasing at three art receptions and during two exhibits through July 30th:

Saturday, April 14 – The Great Outdoors Restaurant, Opera House, 65 North Main Street, High Springs, FL 32643

Special Art First Preview Pop Up Show 5 - 8 pm.

Sunday, April 15 – Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies, 23645 W US Hwy 27, High Springs, FL 32643

Opening Art Reception, 5pm - 7pm

Paintings for exhibit and sale April 15 thru June 20

Saturday, June 23 – Rum 138 Springs Gallery, 2070 SW CR 138, Fort White, FL 32068

Art Reception 6pm - 8pm

Paintings for exhibit and sale June 23 thru July 30.

The Santa Fe Springs Plein Air Paintout is sponsored by Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies. Maps and information are available during the event at Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies, 23645 W US Hwy 27, downtown High Springs. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday from 11am to 5pm and Friday open 12 Noon - 6pm.

For more information, visit www.lanzagallery.com or call Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies at 352-474-9922.

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GAINESVILLE – As part of its commitment to assist motorists traveling on Florida roadways, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) this week expanded its Road Ranger program into the Gainesville area.

The Road Ranger program provides free highway support services during incidents to reduce delay and improve safety for motorists. Since the program’s inception in 2000, the Road Rangers have made more than 4.3 million service assists, with more occurring daily. Road Rangers provide services to motorists by quickly clearing travel lanes of minor incidents and assisting motorists, which include providing a limited amount of fuel, assisting with tire changes, and other types of minor emergency repairs.

The service has existed for many years in the Jacksonville area.

The expansion onto Interstate 75 in Gainesville began Monday and service hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The patrol area currently includes I-75 between Micanopy and Alachua and includes one Road Ranger unit. A second unit is expected to be added in the coming weeks.

Motorists can request Road Ranger service by dialing *347 (FHP).

FDOT expects to expand the Road Ranger program before the end of the year to include all of Interstate 75 between Gainesville and the Florida/Georgia line, as well as Interstate 10 between Jacksonville and Madison.

FDOT also has plans to expand its RISC (Rapid Incident Scene Clearance) Lite units in the coming months on Interstate 75 in Gainesville. These units are used primarily to remove passenger vehicles involved in crashes

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TALLAHASSEE. – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that there are currently 33 active wildfires in Florida burning 33,605 acres.

Significant Wildfires in Florida:

Greenway, Collier County: 17,957 and 95 percent contained.

Firebreak, Gulf County: 8,080 acres and 90 percent contained.

Old Blade Line, Polk County: 450 acres and 60 percent contained.

Mud Dauber Road, Polk County: 139 acres and 100 percent contained.

The Florida Forest Service is urging residents to be cautious with fire and heat sources and to remember the following:

Develop and implement a family wildfire action plan;

Call 911 or a local Florida Forest Service field unit office immediately in the event of a wildfire;

Obey Florida’s outdoor burning laws;

Never burn on windy days;

Always keep a water source and suppression tools on hand when burning yard debris;

Never leave an outdoor fire or hot grill unattended; and

Avoid parking vehicles on dry grass.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.

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GAINESVILLE – Keep Alachua County Beautiful is hosting a free tire dropoff for residents on Saturday, April 7, at Albert “Ray” Massey Park, at 1001 N.W. 34th Street, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Approximately 750 tons of tires are collected and hauled off site from Alachua County to be recycled each year. Recycled tires are made into rubber mulch and asphalt additives.

Residents of Alachua County can bring up to four automobile tires and light truck tires to the roundup event at no charge. Tire rims are not accepted. There is a charge of $3 for these tires and $4 for larger truck tires, 17” or greater, brought to the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station for disposal. For more information or to volunteer for cleanups, painting or planting projects, visit kacb.org or call 352-371-9444

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TRENTON – Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival greeted visitors with a beautiful Florida spring day and with fun and good spirits fostered by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

In downtown historic Trenton, thousands crowded north Main Street and the charming old railroad depot. Seventy-two craft, six antique and 13 food vendors displayed wares and offered fare, and 17 participating quilt groups sold quilts, quilting materials and supplies, and demonstrated quilting techniques.

Inside the Florida Quilt Museum, a visitor could enjoy meeting renowned quilting author Mary C. Kerr and master doll maker Charlie Patricolo, peruse antique quilts offered from Marie Miller’s collection, see feed sack materials displayed by Cecilia Reed, and enjoy expert quilt turning lectures by collectors Kathy Cray and Teddy Pruitt.

“We had a wonderful turnout, and I think our vendors had a good day, said Crafter Coordinator Pat Watson. “We had many vendors return who have been with us several years now, but we added 25 new vendors so that gave us a mix of the familiar and of new offerings to enjoy and explore. We are always pleased to hear from vendors that tell us that they view us as their favorite festival.”

Festival founder and Quilt Coordinator Stephanie Metts added, “We explored some new things this year, like Hawaiian quilting by Elaine Nemeth and the Japanese craft of Kimekomi by Bettie Rowe. We continue to have many quilt groups who support us every year from around our area. We are grateful for their participation.” Stephanie noted, “This year not only did the festival coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, it was held on National Quilt Day as well.”

Dan Sierra, Director of Merchandising for Best Drugs of Trenton, was delighted with their experience as featured sponsor this year. “We met people visiting from as far away as Wisconsin and enjoyed chatting with longtime customers. Our pharmacy experienced record breaking gift sales and the Life South Mobile Blood Collection unit in our parking lot exceeded their goal by more than 20 percent. All around it was a fabulous day for us,” said Sierra.

Festival visitor Stacy Clifton said, “It was great! The creative craft ideas were exciting. My friend, Teresa, bought some beautiful fabric from the quilt shop, and my daughter, Megann, thought the selection of food vendors was terrific.”

Food offerings included made-on-the-spot brick oven pizza, fresh off the grill barbecue, and deep fried seafood. Many others offered meals and baked goods, while the Suwannee Rose Cafe featured a back room Irish Pub experience.

The 2018 festival was sponsored by the City of Trenton, Gilchrist County’s Tourist Development Council, Ameris Bank, Best Drugs, Capital City Bank, Drummond Community Bank, Gray Construction, McDonald’s-Trenton, Trenton Animal Hospital, Trenton Hardware & Farm Supply, Trenton Wine & Spirits, Tri County Metals and the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe.

Looking ahead, the 13th annual Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the festival, visit the festival website, www.TrentonQuiltFestival.com, or contact the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe at 352-463-3842.

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NEWBERRY – The City of Newberry plans to spend an estimated $3 million over the course of eight years as an investment in the existing infrastructure of The Easton Newberry Sports Complex, Jimmy Durden Park, Freddie Warmack Park, Lois Forte Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and Park, and the City Municipal Building.

Newberry expects their share of the incremental funding from the half-cent sales tax referendum, approved by voters in 2016, to be approximately $2.4 million, which will pay for the anticipated improvements. Wild Spaces Public Places (WSPP) is the depository for those funds in Alachua County and the funds are earmarked for recreation improvements. Funds will be received yearly for the next eight years by each of the nine Alachua County cities.

“In 2017 Newberry [also] received an additional $400,000 in WSPP funding,” said Interim Recreation Director Travis Parker. “[Those funds came] from Alachua County and are intended for construction of multi-purpose turf facilities at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex,” he said. The total of both WSPP grants is expected to bring $3 million in revenue into the City’s coffers during the funding period.

Prior to voter approval of the 2016 referendum, the County asked each municipality to create a list of planned projects. Newberry’s focus was on infrastructure improvement projects at existing parks, rather than new projects, said Parker.

At that time, Newberry City Commissioners told staff that their focus should be on projects to improve and maintain City parks and recreational facilities.

At a January commission meeting, staff requested further clarification on establishing a final list for approval. Based on their direction, staff further refined the list into the proposed final project list presented on Feb. 25.

The project plan reflected the Commission’s desire to focus on existing infrastructure, with the exception of three projects, explained Parker during his commission presentation.

The projects providing additions to park facilities include a beach volleyball court at Jimmy Durden Park, construction of a band shell at Lois Forte Park, and the addition of multi-purpose fields at Easton Newberry Sports Complex.

The list and associated costs of the remaining projects recommended and approved by Commissioners at the Feb. 25 meeting include $255,900 for Freddie Warmack Park, $167,200 for Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, $86,400 for the City Municipal Building, $69,400 for Lois Forte Park, $311,400 for Jimmy Durden Park, and $2,163,100 at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex. The total of the projects come to a little more than $3 million.

Proposed enhancements to Freddie Warmack Park include renovations to the existing baseball field, basketball court and concessions areas, improvements to security/parking area lighting and improvements to tables, park benches, trash receptacles and fencing.

Visitors to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and Park can expect to see a renovation to the basketball court as well as improvements to restroom facilities, the parking area, playground equipment, benches, fencing and the grilling area.

The inside of the City Municipal Building will receive a kitchen renovation, floor refinishing, painting and restroom and storage closet renovations. Roof replacement, roof fascia replacement, exterior trim paint, plus improvements to the parking area, exterior landscape, lighting and signage can be expected for the outside of the building.

The Lois Forte Park will receive parking area improvements, landscaping and signage, additional walkways, additional park benches and trash receptacles, along with the addition of an amphitheater.

The Jimmy Durden Park will, much like all the other facilities, receive enhancements to the parking area, additional walkways and multiple field renovations to include a renovation of the existing basketball court.

Lastly, the Easton-Newberry Sports Complex will receive enhancements to the interior roads, parking, walkways, and lighting. This complex will also see additional multipurpose fields to accommodate the growth of youth sports in Newberry.

Commissioners unanimously approved the list of items presented for each park. Now the City must develop a program to implement the project plans.

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