08
Wed, Jul
229 New Articles

NEWBERRY - The City of Newberry reports that one a team member has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee was working in City Hall and was last in a city facility on June 18. The positive result was confirmed over the weekend. Because of privacy laws, specific details about the employee will not be released.

Newberry officials state, "Our top commitment is to the safety of our customers, neighbors, and employees. As a result, we want to reassure you that the employee is under quarantine and being monitored by health professionals. A detailed contact tracing is being performed by health officials to identify others who may have come in close contact with the infected employee. Employees who worked closely with this employee are being tested and quarantining. If you have concerns about your exposure, please contact your medical professional or the Department of Health."

The City of Newberry will continue to follow CDC guidelines for workplace safety, require employees to use facial coverings, promote good hygiene practices and share health, safety and travel guidelines with all employees.

Officials further state, "We want to reassure our residents that there is staff on hand for ongoing operations and customer service inquiries. Many departments are working from remote locations until the pandemic eases. We are here and working to support you every day."

As a precaution, City Hall has been closed to visitors and customers due to the exposure, but the drive-thru is available for customers wishing to make payments. The City is working with professional cleaners to disinfect the building before re-opening.

The City of Newberry encourages the community to practice social distancing by making account inquiries or paying bills online or by phone to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. For questions about Newberry’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.ci.newberry.fl.us or call 352-472-2161.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

GAINESVILLE - Our office has received numerous calls from voters who received apparently handwritten postcards encouraging voting by mail. These mailers list our office’s number and the email address of a staff member. Some of the mailers have included political statements endorsing the Democratic Party.
 
These postcards are not from our office or any of its employees. Any mail that comes from our office will have our office’s return address clearly listed, and most mail that we send will include the United States Postal Service’s official election mail logo. We will never send mail or other communications endorsing one candidate or party over another.
 
Publicly available voter lists can be requested by anyone, including people who do not live in Florida. Many of the pieces we have seen have out-of-state postmarks. Alachua County is not the only Florida county with voters who have received similar postcards.
 
Members of our team have been concerned by some callers’ threatening tones. In all of our interactions, we strive to both be respectful and uphold high levels of customer service. We ask that others conduct themselves respectfully in return.
#     #     #
Email editor@
alachuatoday.com
Add a comment

ALACHUA COUNTY – Qualifying for statewide, multicounty, county and special district candidates ended at noon Friday. 

The Alachua County candidates who have qualified to have their name appear on the ballot, as well as the seat for which they are running, are listed below.

Alachua County Sheriff

Robert Walter Brinkman

1815 SE 50th Street

Gainesville, FL 32641

robertwbrinkman@gmail.com

352-318-4934

Party Affiliation: N/A

Write-in candidate in General Election

Sadie Darnell

2603 NW 13th Street

PMB #276

Gainesville, FL 32609

darnell.sadie@gmail.com

352-281-5990

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Clovis Watson Jr.

16591 NW 129th Terrace

Alachua, FL 32615

cwatsonjr@windstream.net

352-225-6264

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Alachua County Property Appraiser

Glen Tyler Foerst

306 NW 148th Terrace

Newberry, FL 32669

gt2089@gmail.com

352-318-3018

Party Affiliation: N/A

Write-in candidate in General Election

Matt Geiger

5432 NW 45th Drive

Gainesville, FL 32653

matt.geiger1968@gmail.com

352-222-4338

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Susan M. McQuillan

12516 SW 9th Avenue

Newberry, FL 32669

mcsusan@cox.net

352-359-2409

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Wendy Sapp

PO Box 5451

Gainesville, FL 32627

wendymsapp@gmail.com

352-328-4134

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Ayesha Solomon

1559 NW 29th Road

#6

Gainesville, FL 32605

s.ayeshasolomon@gmail.com

352-562-2111

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Kelly F. Suggs

9000 SW 106th Terrace

Gainesville, FL 32608

kellysuggs@cox.net

352-495-9603

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Alachua County Commission District 1

Mary Alford

5208 SW 91st Way

#110

Gainesville, FL 32608

mary.alford@gmail.com

352-317-4480

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Mike Byerly

PO Box 776

Micanopy, FL 32667

byerly4@gmail.com

352-234-7010

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Raemi Eagle-Glenn

9932 SW 54th Lane

Gainesville, FL 32608

raemi@eagleglennlaw.com

352-316-7091

Party Affiliation: Republican Party of Florida

Name will appear on General Election ballot

Randolph L Kaufman

8729 SW 145th Place

Gainesville, FL 32618

randyandjean77@hotmail.com

352-495-2564

Party Affiliation: N/A

Write-in candidate in General Election

Alachua County Commission District 3

Joy W. Glanzer

190 NW 266th Street

Newberry, FL 32669

joyglanzer@cox.net

352-665-3534

Party Affiliation: Republican Party of Florida

Name will appear on General Election ballot

Anna Prizzia

2530 NW 11th Avenue

Gainesville, FL 32605

annaforalachua@gmail.com

910-894-3441

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Jason Stanford

PO Box 6175

Gainesville, FL 32627

jasonforalachua@gmail.com

404-545-9077

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Kevin Thorpe

230 SW 2nd Avenue

#108

Gainesville, FL 32601

vote4kevinthorpe@gmail.com

352-219-2218

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot to determine General Election candidate

Alachua County School Board District 2 (Nonpartisan)

Khanh-Lien R. Banko

601 NW 23rd Street

Gainesville, FL 32607

klbanko@gmail.com

386-717-4965

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot

Diyonne L. McGraw

4331 NW 21st Terrace

Gainesville, FL 32605

mcgrawforstudents@gmail.com

352-246-8071

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot

Alachua County School Board District 4 (Nonpartisan)

Sande Calkins

628 CR 234

Gainesville, FL 32641

sande4schoolboard@gmail.com

352-214-1027

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot

Leanetta McNealy

1266 SE 12th Avenue

Gainesville, FL 32641

lee.mcnealy@gmail.com

352-219-3898

Name will appear on Primary Election ballot

The following candidates were elected without opposition:

Alachua County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller

           

J.K. "Jess" Irby

Protected Information

irbyforclerk@gmail.com

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Elected without opposition  

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections

Kim A. Barton

5212 NW 27th Drive

Gainesville, FL 32605

bbartonkim@aol.com

352-278-6062

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Elected without opposition

Alachua County Tax Collector

John Power

Protected Information

votejohnpower@outlook.com

352-339-1406

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Elected without opposition

Alachua County Commission District 5

Charles S. "Chuck" Chestnut IV

11827 NW 71st Terrace

Alachua, FL 32615

charleschestnutiv@ymail.com

352-215-0659

Party Affiliation: Florida Democratic Party

Elected without opposition

Alachua County Soil and Water Conservation District Group 2 (Nonpartisan)

           

Emily Faulconer

8119 West Newberry Road

Gainesville, FL 32606

emily.faulconer@yahoo.com

434-485-9021

Elected without opposition  

Alachua County Soil and Water Conservation District Group 4 (Nonpartisan)

Daniel "Danny" Gordon

910 NW 40th Drive

Gainesville, FL 32605

dtg10e@my.fsu.edu

352-301-0587

Elected without opposition

Qualifying for statewide, multicounty and special district candidates is handled by the Florida Division of Elections. For a list of those candidates, go to http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/candidates/.

The list of Alachua County candidates and additional information can also be found at https://www.votealachua.com/Candidates-Parties-Committees/Candidates-For-Office.

If you have any questions or need more information, call the Supervisor of Elections at 352-374-5252.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ALACHUA COUNTY - On Saturday, June 20, 2020, the Florida Department of Health issued a public health notice that in part recommended the use of face masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible unless applicable the following:
  • A child is less than two years old
  • An individual has one or more medical conditions or disabilities that prevent him from wearing a face covering
  • An individual is obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the facial covering is required to perform the service.
  • An individual works in a profession where the use of a facial covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession.
  • An individual is participating in outdoor recreation or work with appropriate social distancing
"According to the Alachua County Emergency Order, the use of facial coatings is mandatory (as defined by the CDC) in Alachua County in markets, restaurants, retail establishments, pharmacies, construction sites, vehicles of traffic, rental vehicles, along with locations where social distancing measures cannot be applied, "said Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. "People should practice social distancing, they should stay home when they are sick, they should wash their hands frequently, they should practice a good cough and sneeze ethic when doing it in a handkerchief and then discard it or do it on their sleeve or elbow. "
 
Additionally, all people over 65 years of age and all people of any age with high-risk health conditions should limit personal interactions outside the home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. All persons must refrain from participating in social or recreational gatherings of more than 50 persons. For all meetings of less than 50 people, individuals must practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other and wearing a face covering.
For more information, visit http://www.alachuacountyhealth.com/ , or contact Paul Myers at 352-334-8873 or Paul.Myers@flhealth.gov .
#     #     #
Email editor@
alachuatoday.com
Add a comment

NEWBERRY – Gatorback Cycle Park in Newberry has been given the green light for another five years. During the City of Newberry’s May 26 Special Commission meeting, Principal Planner Wendy Kinser Maxwell highlighted her findings after investigating compliance with the City’s Land Development Regulations by Gatorback Cycle Park. Kinser explained that the Special Exception (SE) provided to the business requires that a review for compliance take place every five years.

Kinser said that following a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Board, they recommended approval of the Special Exception application.

Kinser said the proposed use is in conformance with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and that continuing to allow the SE would be compatible with the established land use pattern. “The intended use will not materially alter the population density pattern or overtax the load on public facilities,” Kinser said. "The proposed use also will not have an undue adverse influence on living conditions in the neighborhood.”

Kinser explained that the park would not excessively increase traffic, will not create a drainage issue, will not seriously reduce light and air to adjacent areas, or adversely affect property values in the nearby areas. She also said that the park would not deter improvement or development of adjacent property under existing regulations and the proposed park is not out of scale with the needs of the neighborhood or community.

The 230-acre private recreational sports tourism-related facility, owned by Unlimited Sports MX, is located at 20524 N.W. 46th Avenue and is in an Agricultural Zoning District.

The race track has operated for over 30 years in this location and Kinser said there is no documented history of chronic nuisance complaints although there was an inquiry about fireworks at the park.

Newberry Planning and Economic Development Director Bryan Thomas consulted with Gatorback staff regarding fireworks. “They said that they would only be using fireworks twice during the annual Gatorback Mini-Os event," Thomas said. The first display will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24, between approximately 8:30 p.m.– 9 p.m. and will last about 10-15 minutes. The second display will be mid-morning on Monday, Nov. 25, and will last less than eight minutes.

Following up with the Newberry Fire Chief Ben Buckner, Thomas was informed that the state not only allows fireworks displays but also pre-empts local jurisdictions from regulating them on private property.

"Given the results of our investigation, the Board need take no further action," Kinser said. “We’ll be back with another report on Gatorback in another five years.”

#     #     #

Email cwalker@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ALACHUA – Dayna Miller, Municipal Marketer for Waste Pro and City Commissioner in Alachua, has been selected to join the Board of Directors of Recycle Florida Today, Inc. (RFT).

RFT is Florida’s premier recycling organization representing recycling and environmental professionals throughout Florida from both the public, private and non-profit sectors.

“I am proud to represent Waste Pro on the Recycle Florida Today board, the leading recycling organization in Florida,” Miller said. “RFT’s mission walks in step with the Waste Pro Way, and I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of such an influential organization in our industry.”

Miller is heavily involved in organizations in the Alachua-Gainesville area, including the Gainesville Elks Lodge and the Alachua Lions Club, for which she serves as immediate past president and first vice president, respectively. She will serve as President of Alachua Lions Club effective June 25. She additionally serves as Vice President of Keep Alachua County Beautiful. In 2012, she spearheaded the creation of Waste Pro’s company-wide community watch program, Waste Pro-Tection, which allows Waste Pro drivers to alert first responders if they see suspicious activity or encounter an emergency situation while on their routes.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ALACHUA COUNTY – Florida and Georgia were among the first states to announce the reopening of businesses and relaxation of social distancing, self-isolation and mask wearing rules. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis first announced a “stay at home order” on April 1 as Florida cases spiked over a 1,000 per day. Between April 1 and May 16, the numbers varied with 13 days of over 1,000 new cases a day but a general decline with larger gaps between the spikes. Less than a month later, Florida began to reopen. A number of health experts expressed concern that it was too early to allow close contact and make safety precautions like mask covering voluntary rather than mandatory.

After a month in self quarantine, people took advantage of the relaxed rules and flooded beaches, parks and springs While many stores required masks to be worn inside the store, many backed down due to threats against employees by people who refused to wear them. While the state had suggested guidelines for the number of people per group and regulations, some people chose to ignore them in favor of personal comfort. Since asymptomatic people can still have and spread the virus during the two-week incubation period, this created a situation where increased exposure could spike the numbers and a second wave was feared by medical personnel.

Two weeks later, the numbers rose dramatically and have continued to increase daily. For the sixth day in a row, Florida has seen a single-day record for the number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state at the rate of over 2,000 a day, higher numbers than the original spike. Some of this increase can be attributed to increase testing with more testing sites including mobile testing centers in smaller towns.

To date, over one million people have been tested. Florida is now testing more than 200,000 people a week, more than double the number tested weekly in mid-May. This only accounts for 4 percent of the population and does not entirely explain the sudden and dramatic increase. Test results for more than 39,300 individuals were reported to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) as of midnight, Monday, June 15. Of those, 7.4 percent of new cases tested positive as opposed to 5 percent two weeks ago.

Alachua County created a “stay at home” order almost two weeks before the governor made it statewide and has continued to make masks mandatory despite the state making them “suggested.” These rules, while unpopular with some, have helped keep the infection rate and death rate lower in Alachua than the average per population. As of June 16, Alachua was 20th of all counties with 564 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. Florida had 2,783 new cases on June 15 for a total of 80,109 and 2,993 deaths. That number of new cases is now the highest single-day jump since tracking began in March.

The increase in new cases come as the state continues the process of reopening businesses while also expanding testing for COVID-19. But even these high numbers are being questioned for their accuracy. DOH publishes total cases, not positive people. Cases are not currently created for those who receive positive antibody test results, and so DOH excludes them from that total, which means their numbers only reflect current cases, not people that were not tested for antibodies which would show they had it but have recovered. However, these people could have spread it to others without knowing.

Rebekah Jones was the data technician in charge of the DOH data website. Last month she was removed from the state's dashboard project after she questioned other officials' commitment to accessibility and transparency, according to some reports. While Jones says she was fired for questioning the accuracy of the charts, DOH countered she had "exhibited a repeated course of insubordination" during her tenure there. Jones contends that the state is under reporting the numbers and has put up a similar website detailing what she says is a more accurate and informative representation of the pandemic in Florida. According to her information there is an under count of over 8,000 cases from antibody tests.

Jones's website https://floridacovidaction.com is paid for entirely by donations. "Florida deserves a community-based dashboard that doesn't hide or fudge numbers," Jones said. Jones parallels her data alongside DOH’s coronavirus numbers, which are much lower, according to the website. The new dashboard also shows report cards on where each county stands on reopening.

While there are conflicting counts on the number of cases and in the cause of the sudden increase in the nation and Florida, the cases are rising and there is concern that the re-opening may have been premature. The state DOH dashboard and resource center can be found at http://www.floridahealth.gov/.

#     #     #

Email rcarson@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

More Articles ...