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CommunityInterestACBeyondGAINESVILLE, Fla - The Matheson Museum, located at 513 East University Ave., is introducing its latest exhibit, Natural History Photography Series: Payne’s Prairie, the first in a series of natural history exhibits.  In honor of this exhibit, the Matheson Museum is hosting an open house reception, Nov. 16, 2011 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The exhibit showcases Florida photographers including John Moran, Susannah Peddie and Jeff Ripple (full list of artists below).  John Moran and Susannah Peddie will speak about their art and inspirations.  In addition, members from the “Friends of Paynes Prairie” group will be in attendance to answer any questions.  Light refreshments will be served.

 It is a must see!

 This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Alicia Antone, executive director, at 352-378-2280.


Andy Adkins

Elizabeth Auer

Dr. Mark V. Barrow

Rya Boyce

Ani Collier

Justin Duncklee

Greg Lepera

John Moran

Jeff Ripple

Vicki Santello

Susannah Peddie

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CommunityInterestACBeyondLAKE CITY –  The following is a list of roadwork underway by the FDOT that may impact traffic. All work will be suspended on Friday, Nov. 11 for the Veterans Day holiday, except for those noted. FDOT offices will also be closed Friday.


Archer Road (State Road 24) Daytime lane closures from Southwest 13th Street (US 441) to the Levy County line to repaint the roadway markings.

Interstate 75 The southbound off ramp to Newberry Road (State Road 26) will be closed Sunday and Monday nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for replacing guardrail. The southbound on ramp from SR 26 to I-75 will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to replace the guardrail. Traffic will be detoured to either Archer Road or Northwest 39th Avenue.  FHP will assist with the closures. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph.


Interstate 75 Daytime lane closures for southbound traffic at mile marker 380 (two miles south of State Road 121, Williston Road exit) on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for cleanup from a fuel spill in a previous crash. In the event of rain, the work will be done Wednesday or Thursday.


Northeast 39th Avenue (State Road 222) Possible lane closures just east of North Main Street to modify driveways to Gainesville Nissan.


Southwest 13th Street (US 441) Daytime lane closures south of Archer Road (State Road 24) to modify sidewalk and driveways on both sides of the road to make improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. The work is being overseen by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).


State Road 121 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from US 441 to the Union County line.


University Avenue (State Road 26) The road will be closed Saturday from 5 a.m. until Sunday at 8 p.m. between Main Street and East Third Street in Gainesville for the Downtown Festival and Art Show.  Gainesville Police will detour traffic.


Waldo Road (State Road 24) Daytime lane closures for eastbound traffic south of Waldo on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for roadway materials testing.



County Road 125 (Manntown Bridge) Daytime lane closures weekdays after 8:30 a.m. to replace the bridge by installing piers for the new bridge foundation. Also, installing temporary barrier wall south of the bridge. Trucks will be delivering concrete and motorists should watch for vehicles entering and leaving the roadway. Work will be underway Friday, November 11.


Minnesota Avenue and North Boulevard Possible daytime lane closures as crews install handrail at the new sidewalks in Macclenny.


US 90 Daytime lane closures east of Baker Correctional Institution to Interstate 10 to work on driveways from a new facility under construction.


US 90 Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings between the Columbia and Nassau County lines. Also, crews will be repainting the roadway lines which is a moving operation.


Southeast 144th Avenue The road is closed for reconstruction between Hayes Avenue and the CSX Railroad. It is scheduled to open during the week of November 14.



County Road 315C Daytime lane closures from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Christian Camp Road (County Road 214) and Blanding Boulevard (State Road 21) near Keystone Heights for paving the final layer of asphalt.


Baya Drive Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from US 90 East to US 90 West.

Interstate 10 Daytime and nighttime lane closures beginning Monday at 6 a.m. through Tuesday for westbound traffic and from late Tuesday through until Friday at 6 a.m. from US 441(Exit 303) to the Suwannee County line (west of Interstate 75) to resurface the travel lanes. Crews also continue to work along the side of the interstate on the drainage culverts. No lane closures allowed from Friday at 6 a.m. until Sunday at 9 p.m. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph during lane closures.


Interstate 75 Daytime lane closures for guardrail work in the median north of the US 41/441 overpass. Also, daytime lane closures for northbound traffic from the Alachua County line to just north of Ellisville for shoulder grading and grassing operations and installation of motorist aid call box pads. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph during lane closures. No work requiring lane closures is allowed from 6 a.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Sunday.  Paving is expected to resume by mid-December.


US 441 (South Marion Avenue) Daytime lane closures Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. between Baya Drive and US 90 (Duval Street) near Tucker Street to patch the concrete near the center of the lanes.


US 90  (East Duval Street) Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from Marion Avenue (US 441) to State Road 100.



Interstate 75 Daytime lane closures Monday through Thursday between US 129 (Exit 451) and State Road 6 (Exit 460) for replacing asphalt. Also, nighttime lane closures requiring two lanes closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. approaches. No work is allowed Friday from 6 a.m. through Sunday at 9 p.m. and the speed limit is reduced to 60 mph during lane closures.

Interstate 75 The southbound agricultural inspection station at mile marker 446 is closed until February 2012 while a new station is built.  All livestock is redirected to the FDOT weigh station  at mile marker 451 which is north of the closed agricultural inspection station.


State Road 136 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from US 41 in White Springs to the Columbia County line.


State Road 349 Daytime lane closures from the Dixie County line to US 27 to trim trees.


US 27 Daytime lane closures from County Road 53 in Buckville to the Suwannee River bridge just west of Branford to trim trees.



Interstate 10 Daytime lane closures for eastbound traffic Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon at mile marker 240, about a mile west of US 221 (Exit 241) to trim trees at the guardrail.

State Road 6 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from US 90 to the Hamilton County line.

State Road 145 Possible daytime lane closures after 8:30 a.m. between Hanson and the Georgia state line as crews work on drainage pipes.



Interstate 10 Nighttime lane closures Sunday through Wednesday nights at the ramps to US 90 (Exit 275) and US 129 (Exit 283) to resurface. Also, daytime lane closures between US 90 and US 129 to rework the shoulders along the medians and guardrail installation.


State Road 51 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from the Lafayette County line to US 129 in Live Oak.



US 19 Daytime lane closures from the Dixie County line to US 221 in Perry to repaint the roadway markings.

US 98 Possible daytime lane for the construction of a temporary bridge across the Aucilla River at the Jefferson County line. Also, dirt will be brought in and placed for the new roadway approaches to be built at the temporary bridge. No detours will be required for this project.


US 221 Daytime lane closures from US 19 to the Madison County line to repaint the roadway markings.



State Road 100 Work continues on the multi-use trail that follows the old Norfolk Southern rail corridor adjacent to SR 100 in Lake Butler from State Road 238 to County Road 237.


State Road 121 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between the Alachua and Baker county lines.

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CommunityInterestACBeyondGAINESVILLE -  The Munich Symphony Orchestra will be joined by principal guest conductor Philippe Entremont and the Gloriae Dei Cantores Choir for a special performance of Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor” at 7:30 p.m. ON Nov. 17 at the Phillips Center in Gainesville.

 Left unfinished when the composer died in 1791, it remains unclear how much of the “Requiem” was written by Mozart, and how much was written by someone else. Today, the work remains one of the most breathtaking fusions of orchestral and vocal music.

 Schoenberg’s masterpiece “Verklarte Nacht,” Op. 4 will precede Mozart’s “Requiem,” which will be performed after intermission.

 The Munich Symphony Orchestra has contributed to more than 500 film soundtracks, including the Oscar-winning classic “The Silence of the Lambs.” Entremont’s dedication to developing orchestras’ artistic potential, coupled with the elegant sounds of the Gloriae Dei Cantores Choir will make for a unique symphonic experience.

 Tickets are on sale and available for this performance. Call 352-392-ARTS (2787) or visit www.performingarts.ufl.edu for more information.

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CommunityInterestACBeyondWhen the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received information on Oct. 16 of a possible dead lion at a Loxahatchee residence, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was called to help.

“FWC Officer Jeff Haynes responded to the residence,” said Capt. Jeff Ardelean, supervisor of investigations for the area.

The resident, Gene Stimmler (DOB 07/25/38), advised Haynes that there was a dead cougar in the freezer. When Stimmler opened the freezer, Haynes observed the animal and did not observe any violations.

The FWC checks all captive animals to determine their species and ensure that they were lawfully acquired. FWC records showed that Stimmler, at one time, had captive cougars. He previously held the appropriate permits to possess cougars and other wildlife. However, when the animals died, he submitted paperwork to the FWC to cancel and refund those permits.

“Unfortunately, even in healthy facilities, it is not uncommon for captive animals to get sick or die,” Ardelean said.

Since captive wildlife of this type is personal property, if there are no obvious signs of abuse or neglect, the FWC does not investigate their deaths.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture also regulates captive wildlife,” Ardelean said. “In situations where animals seem abused, neglected or very sick, we will turn information over to their staff to investigate.”

Captive-wildlife owners do not have to report how or why their animals died, and they have the right to handle the carcasses as they see fit. The caller who reported the dead cat to Palm Beach County was concerned that it had been stored in the freezer. However, FWC officials point out that this is not a violation.

“Everyone treats captive wildlife deaths differently,” Ardelean said. “There is nothing illegal about storing the carcass of a captive animal in the freezer.

“We appreciate that conscientious residents report things like this to the FWC,” Ardelean said. “There was no violation in this situation, but it is often better to be safe than sorry when it comes to reporting suspected illegal activities.”

Stimmler is one of many Florida residents who possess captive wildlife. The state’s abundant natural resources make it a prime spot for captive wildlife owners; the subtropical climate even allows facilities to house exotic animals from around the world.

Owners must be conscientious and well-equipped, as Florida’s captive wildlife regulations are comprehensive and strict.  State statutes and rules require both commercial and private facilities to obtain permits for possessing, exhibiting or selling many types of native and nonnative animals. The FWC enforces these regulations.

“We have worked extensively with the industry and stakeholders to provide the best possible rules for public safety, humane treatment of the animals and sound housing and caging requirements,” said Maj. Curtis Brown, leader of the FWC’s Captive Wildlife and Investigations Section. “We want to support the ethical and legitimate use of wildlife.”

FWC officers and investigators routinely conduct both scheduled and random inspections to ensure these rules are met, protecting the safety of both the animals and the public.

There are currently 260 commercial or personal facilities licensed to possess Class I wildlife in the state. Class I wildlife are those that could pose a significant danger to people, and include cougars and other big cats.  These facilities are inspected at least twice a year.

To obtain a permit to possess Class I or Class II wildlife, an owner must meet strict requirements, including being financially responsible, having ample training and experience, providing reference letters and establishing disaster-response plans. The land used for the facilities must also meet local zoning and acreage requirements, and cages must be appropriate in size and design.

For more information about captive wildlife regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Wildlife or call 850-488-6253.

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CommunityInterestACBeyondTALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will offer free day-use entry to all* state parks on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in recognition of Veterans Day.

“We are pleased to honor the nation’s veterans, their families and communities with free state park entrance this Friday,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “This recognition is but a small token of the appreciation due to those who have selflessly served this country and its citizens.”

Florida State Parks honor American veterans and active-duty service members throughout the year. Honorably discharged veterans, active-duty service and reserve members receive a 25 percent discount on the purchase of a Florida State Parks Annual Entrance Pass. The discount provides a savings of $15 on an individual annual pass and $30 on a family annual pass, which allows up to eight people in a group to access most of Florida’s 160 state parks. In addition, honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities and surviving spouses and parents of military members who have fallen in combat, can receive a lifetime family annual entrance pass at no charge.

Florida’s state parks preserve an abundance of cultural and historic sites that commemorate the nation’s fallen service members. At the Orman House Historic State Park in Apalachicola, visitors can pay their respects to Vietnam veterans at the only sanctioned replica of the Three Servicemen statue. Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park in Olustee commemorates Florida’s largest Civil War battle in 1864 and Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee was the site of the Avon Park Army Field in the 1940s. Fort Foster State Historic Site in Thonotosassa depicts a reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War and Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound was the location of the World War II training site, Camp Murphy.

All other use fees, such as overnight accommodations, tours or special events, will be charged as usual on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. *Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in St. Petersburg is not included in this special offer.

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