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CommunityInterestACBeyondTALLAHASSEE -- Emergency Management officials are asking Floridians to take note that on November 9 at 2:00 p.m. eastern standard time, the federal government will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).  The test will last for 30 seconds. During this period, regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite shows will be interrupted as the system is being tested. The Division aims to ensure that Florida’s residents and visitors are aware that this event is only a test, and not an actual emergency alert.

“In conjunction with our local, county and state agency partners, the Division wants to alert all residents to this important event, and make them aware of the significance of this system’s ability to deliver emergency notifications across the country,” said Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  “This test will provide important conformational data on the capabilities of the system should it ever need to be activated for an actual emergency.”

Under the FCC's rules, radio and television broadcasters, cable operators, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers and wireline video service providers are required to receive and transmit presidential EAS messages to the public. A national test will help federal partners and EAS participants determine the reliability of the system, as well as its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers both nationally and regionally.  The test will also provide the FCC and FEMA a chance to identify improvements that may need to be made to build a modernized and fully accessible Emergency Alert System.

The Division, in partnership with local, county and agency officials, encourages residents to use this event as a reminder of the importance of establishing an emergency plan as well as an emergency preparedness kit for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses. For more information about the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, visit www.Ready.gov. For more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an actual emergency and to GET A PLAN!, please visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s homepage: www.FloridaDisaster.org.  Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/FLSERT and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.

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CommunityInterestACBeyondTALLAHASSEE – October 17, 2011 – The Florida Prepaid College Board begins its 2011-2012 annual enrollment period on Monday, Oct. 17, which means parents can purchase a Prepaid College Plan to prepay higher education costs at this yearʼs plan prices until the January 31, 2012 deadline.

This open enrollment season, plans will include tuition and most mandatory fees, as well as Florida Prepaidʼs newest plan, the 4-Year Florida College Plan, which was launched in 2010 in response to the evolving Florida College landscape. Florida Prepaid College Plans continue to help families save smartly for future college expenses. “With recent reports from Moody Analytics showing the cost of higher education rising at a higher rate than healthcare in our country, we recognize it is critical for families to start saving for the future today,” said Chairman Duane Ottenstroer of the Florida Prepaid College Board.

“The consumer-friendly savings options and comprehensive prepaid plans give Florida families an opportunity to safely secure funding for their childʼs college education. The objective of each of the prepaid plans is to allow families on any budget to begin planning for their child or grandchildʼs future with peace of mind.”

The Florida Prepaid College Boardʼs plan options include:

• 2-Year Florida College Plan (formerly Community College Plan): prepays 60 lower division semester hours of tuition, registration fees and local fees at a Florida College (formerly known as a community college).

• 4-Year Florida College Plan: prepays the tuition, registration fees and local fees for 60 lower division as well as 60 upper division semester hours at a Florida College (formerly known as a community college).

• 2 + 2 Florida Plan: prepays 60 lower division semester hours of tuition, registration fees and local fees at a Florida College (formerly known as a community college) and 60 undergraduate semester hours of tuition, registration fees, tuition differential fee and local fees at a Florida state university.

• 4-Year Florida University Plan: prepays tuition, registration fees, the tuition differential fee and local fees for 120 semester hours at any of the 11 state universities in Florida.

Since 1988, families have purchased more than 1.4 million Florida Prepaid College Plans, making it the largest and most successful prepaid plan in the nation. Nearly one in 10 Florida children has a Florida Prepaid College Plan.

When your child is ready for college, this yearʼs Florida Prepaid College Plan will cover the cost of tuition and most required fees at Floridaʼs 11 state universities and 28 Florida Colleges (formerly community colleges) and can also include dormitory housing. If the student decides to attend an out-of-state college, technical school or a private college in Florida, the value of the plan may be transferred to any eligible educational institution. To qualify for a plan, the child or childʼs parent/guardian must be a Florida resident. Parents, grandparents, friends and even businesses can purchase a plan.

For more information on plan options or to sign up online for the Florida Prepaid College Plan, families can visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com or call 1-800-552-GRAD (4723) to request an Enrollment Kit in English or Spanish and speak with a customer service representative.

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ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Family & Consumer Sciences Programs for November, 2011. These programs are offered by Dr. Brenda Williams, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent. All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Before You Tie the Knot - November 7 & 14, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Before You Tie the Knot is a premarital preparation course. Topics include: Communication, Conflict Management & Resolution, Financial Responsibility & Spending Plans and Children & Parenting Responsibilities

Completion of this course is required to receive a $32.50 reduction of marriage license. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a copy for the Clerk of the Court. There is no cost to attend this two evening class. Pre-register by November 2 by calling 352-337-6209.

Building Your Financial Future (A personal financial management program - for those filing bankruptcy only) - November 15, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Attendees will learn 4 basic concepts that will aid in handling financial resources responsibly and building a financially secure future.  This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. You must bring your case number with you.

Topics include: Develop Your Budget, Money Management Skills, Use Credit Responsibly and Consumers Rights & Responsibilities

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (cash only) for course materials. Pre-register by November 10, by calling 352-955-2402. For alternate class dates, or view the complete brochure, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml.

For more information about these programs call 352-955-2402. Visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml for additional programs offered by the Extension Office. Add a comment

CommunityInterestACBeyondGAINESVILLE, Fla. --- North Florida ranchers are invited to learn about the latest research-based cattle production methods from University of Florida experts at the 2011 Department of Animal Sciences Beef/Forage Research Day.


The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at UF's Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch Beef Unit, 14202 N.W. 294th Ave. in Alachua. Admission is free and includes a catered barbecue lunch; participants can register on-site beginning at 8 a.m.


It's the first such event in the Gainesville area, said lead organizer Matt Hersom, a beef extension specialist with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The department hopes to continue it annually.


"We offer similar events in other parts of the state but we wanted to do something for beef cattle producers in our area, to get them new information to improve their production," said Hersom, an animal sciences associate professor.


At the research day, Hersom and other UF faculty members will give presentations on topics including preconditioning of weaned calves, heifer development systems, winter grazing and supplementation, water quality protection, pasture weed control and on-farm best management practices. Some of the presentations will enable participants to earn continuing education units, or CEUs.


Though the event doesn't specifically involve a tour, presentations will be given at several locations around the beef unit, enabling participants to get a good look at the property and cattle, Hersom said.


Located northwest of Gainesville, Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch contains about 1,600 acres of land bordering the Santa Fe River and supports 300 head of Angus-Brangus cattle, used for teaching and research.


For a map and driving directions to Boston Farm-Santa Fe River Ranch Beef Unit, visit http://www.animal.ufl.edu/facilities/sbru/documents/SFBUmap.pdf


The complete agenda for Beef/Forage Research Day events is available online at http://www.animal.ifas.ufl.edu/conferences/documents/2011_ans_beef_forage.pdf

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ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Program for November, 2011. These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent. The programs will be held at the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Ethnic Vegetable Production (Co-instructor: Barton Wilder) - November 8, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ethnic markets have expanded at a rapid rate in recent years and present an opportunity for local farmers. According to the US Census Bureau information, there are 10,764 citizens of Asian origin, and 17,368 citizens of Hispanic origin in Alachua County. Learn which vegetables do best and how to grow them in Alachua County.

This class is free. Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209.

Green Industries Best Management Practices Workshop - November 29, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for those working in the lawn, landscape, pest control or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

Best Management Practices are focused on reducing non-point source pollution resulting from fertilization or pesticide application. In some areas, certifications are needed in the BMPs to be able to bid on jobs or have commercial customers. It will be mandatory throughout the state in the near future.

* Earn CEUs for pesticide license holders. For CEUs, get form signed. *(2) CORE, (2) Ornamental & Turf, Limited Commercial Landscape.

Cost $25.00 (includes materials and lunch). Please pre-register by November 23 by calling 352-337-6209.

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