August 15, 2022

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​Alachua County Animal Resources and Care (AR&C) hosted their annual “Summer Lovin’ Adoption Event” on Saturday, August 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alachua County Animal Resources and Care headquarters (3400 N.E. 53rd Avenue, Gainesville). All adoption fees were waived for this event. There was music, food trucks, goody bags for adopters, giveaways, and more.

52 animals were adopted. All 12 adoptable kitties and 40 adult dogs found their forever homes. We cannot thank our community enough for opening their hearts and homes and adopting today.

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Veteran Services Assisting with PACT Act Claims

Alachua County Veteran Services is informing Veterans in Alachua County about the PACT Act signed by President Joe Biden on August 10, 2022. The PACT Act opens many new conditions and diseases they may suffer from to be considered service-connected. Veterans serving between 1990 to present, and those who served in the Vietnam War, may now qualify for VA health care and/or service-connected compensation where they did not before the Pact Act was signed. Veterans should contact Alachua County Veterans Services at 352-264-6740 to find out about filing a PACT Act claim. Due to the probable high call volume, please allow time for their office to schedule you to provide the services earned. 

Following the Veterans Administration Regional Office guidelines, Alachua County Veteran Services staff have filed PACT Act claims for the last several weeks. The Veterans Administration will begin to work on these claims in October 2022.

The PACT Act is the largest expansion of VA health care benefits for Veterans exposed to toxins in more than 30 years. It should extend eligibility for medical care to roughly 3.5 million Veterans who have potentially been impacted by toxic exposure. The County estimates that approximately 7,000 Veterans in Alachua County may be in this eligibility window.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our Veteran community as it opens many conditions/diseases that they may be suffering from to be considered service-connected,” said Alachua County Veteran Services Director Kim Davis. “We are pleased to finally be able to serve our Veterans with this opportunity that has become available to them.”

FACT SHEET: President Biden Signs the PACT Act and Delivers on His Promise to America’s Veterans

For more information, contact Alachua County Veteran Services at 352-264-6740.

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Army Equipment Concentration Site (ECS) Groundbreaking Video

On July 14, the Army Reserve broke ground on their newest Equipment Concentration Site (ECS), located at the old Alachua County Fairgrounds. This new complex will help spur development along the Waldo Road corridor.

Watch a short video of the groundbreaking.

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Public Meeting on Black Lake Preserve Management Plan and Master Recreation Plan

The Alachua County Office of Land Conservation and Management (Alachua County Forever Program) will host a public meeting on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. The meeting is to discuss the proposed Management Plan and Master Recreation for Black Lake Preserve, located west of Melrose. The meeting is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church (204 S.R. 26, Melrose).

This meeting provides citizens the opportunity to learn about the proposed Management Plans for the Preserve, including the maintenance and restoration of the natural communities, invasive exotic plant management strategies, use of prescribed fire, forest resource management strategies, future public access opportunities, and more.

Learn more about the meeting.

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Motorist Safety Near Stopped School Busses

Alachua County Public Works would like to remind everyone of proper school bus safety and also warn that as of January 1, 2021, the penalties for failure to stop for a school bus double. The penalty for failure to stop for a school bus goes from a minimum $100 to $200, and if a second offense is committed within five years, the person’s license will be suspended for up to one year. The penalty for passing a school bus on the side where children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal goes from a minimum of $200 to $400, and if a second offense is committed in five years, the person’s license can be suspended up to two years.

School bus safety tips for motorists:

  • Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and stop arms extended. (See the different situations in the diagram)
  • All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, two-lane)
  • On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, multi-lane)
  • The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. (see diagram, divided highway)
  • On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least five feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus. (see diagram, divided highway)
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Advisory Board Vacancies

Advisory Boards are a terrific chance to participate in your County's decision-making process. Click here for more information. Some current vacancies include the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, the TEquity Advisory Council, the Historical Commission, the Joint Food System Advisory Board, and many more.

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Vacancies

Rural Concerns Advisory Committee Vacancies

Historical Commission Vacancies

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Historical Marker Site Approved and New Wayfinding Signs Installed

The Alachua County Public Works Department recently approved a site to install a new historical marker within the County right-of-way on County Road N.W. 121st Terrace, at the intersection of State Road 235. The Alachua/Newnansville Subcommittee of the Alachua County Community Remembrance Project requested to install a marker at this location to memorialize the lives of lynching victims who lived around the former town of Newnansville and the present-day City of Alachua. Similar historical markers have been placed throughout the County as part of the Truth and Reconciliation process started by the Alachua County Commission in June 2018. The process was prompted by research completed by the Alachua County Historical Commission (ACHC) in response to the national Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) lynching research in Alachua County. The marker for the Alachua/Newnansville site is currently being created by EJI in Montgomery, Alabama, and will be installed with a ceremony once the County receives the marker.

Read more about the historical marker.

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Back-to-School Safety

​With schools starting, Alachua County Fire Rescue would like to share important tips about back-to-school safety. We must all do our part to keep our children safe. 

While driving, pay attention to school zones and be sure to follow the speed limit. Be aware of children crossing the street around schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods and other areas. Share the road with buses. Never pass a bus if it is stopped to pick up or drop off children.

If your child takes the bus or uses another transportation service, be sure to review their routes with them. Teach children to stand six feet away (or three large steps) from the curb while waiting for their vehicle. Remind children to never walk behind the bus and to stay vigilant at all times.

For children who walk to and from school, remind them to walk on a sidewalk whenever possible. Make sure children stop and look left, right, and left again whenever crossing a street. Children should check for vehicles before walking at a crosswalk or intersection. If your child rides a bike, they should ride on the right side of the road. They should make a complete stop before crossing a street and always wear a helmet.

Find out more information about back-to-school safety.

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Green Beans are August’s Plant of the Month

The UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office is pleased to announce that the August “Plant of the Month” is green beans.

A cup of green beans provides about 25 percent of your daily supply of vitamin K and 20 percent of vitamin C, along with fiber, manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.

August is a good time to grow green beans in North Central Florida. Check the Plant of the Month website for information on planting, harvesting, recipes, and more. Listen to the Extension Cord Podcast to get further insights on the Plant of the Month.

The Plant of the Month program is a collaborative effort between the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, Alachua County Master Gardener Volunteers, the Alachua County Public Library, and Working Food. 

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Fraudulent Text Alert

​This text is going out all over the County. It is fake. Do NOT click on the link. We recommend blocking the texter.

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