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Farmers waiting to see what the cold means to crops

Agriculture agents are working to assess exactly what a hard freeze and persistent cold weather will mean to crops currently growing. Alachua County Extension Agent Barton Wilder says strawberries and citrus would be most affected at farms if freeze protection steps were not effective. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/WILDER1.mp3] He says these farmers have …

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How will the campaign field change post-Iowa?

The Iowa caucus results may mean the end for a few candidate campaigns, but WUFT-FM’s Chip Skambis says they don’t necessarily determine the presidential nominee either. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/CAUCUSWRAP.mp3] depth:   Political party primaries kicked off yesterday with the Iowa Caucuses. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Chip Skambis spoke with University of South Florida Political …

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All Marion County high schools earn “A” or “B” grades

Marion County’s seven public high schools scored enough points on the FCAT to earn A-grades, but 4 of those were bumped to B-grades because their bottom quartile did not significantly improve. Public Schools Spokesman Kevin Christian says regardless, the student’s hardwork shows in these results. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Christian2CL.mp3] Christian says some areas of the grade breakdown need improvement. …

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Alachua county high schools make the grade

School grades released by the state show Alachua County High Schools performing very well. Alachua County Public Schools Spokeswoman Jackie Johnson says the school district is happy with the across-the-board improvement. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/Johnson1grade.mp3] She says the scores go beyond just FCAT performance. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/Johnson2grade.mp3] Among the 6 high-performing schools, Buccholz, Newberry and …

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Keeping plants and gardens safe through the winter cold

With temperatures continuing to drop and a hard freeze last night, it is not too late to protect your plants from the cold. Marion County IFAS Extension Agent Norma Samuel says plants can be carefully covered or brought in to shelter. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/SAMUEL5.mp3] She says the best protection against the cold …

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Fire risk high with winter season underway

Expect fire activity to rise in the coming months with the start of the winter fire season. Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Ludie Bond says last night’s hard freeze was the first of many more to come. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/BOND2.mp3] She says low humidity this time of year further adds to those high risk …

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Iowa caucus will set footing for presidential race

The Republican Presidential race will get its first big test tonight.  University of Florida History Professor Paul Ortiz says the Iowa caucus is the first chance for voters to sound off on the party candidates. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/Ortiz5.mp3] He says the caucus this year is more unique than ever. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/Ortiz2.mp3] He says …

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Health Department facing more cuts

As the Alachua County Health Department continues to work towards financial stability, the biggest expense- personnel- is still facing some cuts. Interim Director Paul Myers says the new year comes with a round of lay-offs, although fewer than previous planned. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/myers2.mp3] The Health Department found itself in financial problems late …

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Increased demand expected at overnight shelter

With the nights getting colder, the St. Francis House homeless shelter and soup kitchen is opening its doors to those needing overnight assistance. Executive Director Kent Vann says once the temperature drops below 45 degrees, St. Francis House becomes an emergency overnight shelter that does not turn anyone away. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/01/VANN4.mp3] …

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UF beats OSU 24-17 in TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

In this double-report, WUFT-TV’s Katie Gillen explains how special teams play fueled another Gator victory over Ohio State, while WUFT-TV’s Bianca Alberty reports on fan perceptions of the football “rivalry” given that former UF coach Urban Meyer is now taking charge at OSU.

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UFPD identifies rape suspect

The suspect in the November sexual battery of a University of Florida student has been positively identified as 25 year old Tommie Howard, III, of Hawthorne. The University of Florida Police Department obtained a warrant for his arrest late last night.  UFPD is now searching for Howard.  UFPD  began an extensive criminal investigation after …

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Armed robbery suspects still at-large

Marion County Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking for the public’s help in tracking down the three men responsible for an armed robbery on Tuesday. Spokesman Judge Cochran says the men were caught on tape at the Qwick King on SE Lake Weir Avenue in Ocala. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2011/12/ROBBERY3.mp3] He says the men …

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Winter weather pushes down smoke along area roads

Smoke continues to be a problem along US Highway 301 and NE 124th Ave. because of a one acre brush fire. Wildfire mitigation specialist Ludie Bond says driving in these conditions can be dangerous. [audio:http://www.wuft.org/news/files/2011/12/BOND3.mp3] The fire, just south of the city of Waldo, began yesterday, and fire officials are …

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Keeping the historic reel spinning

High Springs in northern Alachua county is known for its small town life, proximity to local springs, antique shops–and the historic Priest Theater. That theater, in one form or another, has been a source of entertainment for over a century. Now, WUFT-FM’s Paula Bonilla says the future of this historic …

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Keeping needy families fed through the holidays

Although most public school children are enjoying their holiday break, the North Central Florida United Way is still working to bring help to those children most in need. President Debbie Mason says they host a number of drives and programs to bring food, clothing and other essential supplies to those …

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Two area newspapers may be changing hands

Local newspapers, Gainesville Sun and Ocala Star Banner and 14 other print publications, may soon have a new owner. The New York Times Company is talking about selling it’s regional media group to Halifax Media Holdings. The regional papers currently reach more than 430-thousand subscribers and employ more than 17-hundred people.  …

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