Week in review


Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 18, 2003 at 9:44 p.m.

Alachua OKs one-year building moratorium

  • ALACHUA - A one-year building moratorium that has been debated for more than six months was approved Wednesday night.
    The vote came after commissioners voted to make all of their property subject to the moratorium, even if it is in areas exempt from the measure, to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
    Commissioner James Lewis said earlier in the day that an announcement on whether Wal-Mart will build a warehouse in the city should be made soon after the moratorium vote. The controversial project is exempt in the moratorium.

    Florida State Prison gets its first black warden

  • The new head of Florida's prison system appointed Thursday morning the first black warden for Florida State Prison near Raiford.
    James V. Crosby Jr., the recently appointed secretary of the Department of Corrections, appointed Joseph E. Thompson to take over at the prison, the most well-known in the state largely because it is home of Florida's death chamber. The prison has 737 beds, a staff of 574 people and is one of the highest security prisons in the state.

    Restructuring plan has 13th St. Kmart closing

  • The Kmart corporate restructuring plan announced on Tuesday has claimed two area stores, as the discount retailer's locations on NW 13th Street in Gainesville and U.S. 90 in Lake City are slated to close along with 324 other stores nationwide.
    The corporation said it also is eliminating 37,000 jobs as part of a plan to get out of bankruptcy by the end of April. Michigan-based Kmart Corp. did not indicate when the stores would actually shut down, but it announced this second round of store closings as part of its effort to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
    Kmart's location just off Newberry Road in northwest Gainesville will remain open.

    Gainesville moves ahead with annexation plans

  • The city of Gainesville moved forward with plans Monday night to bring 5,400 new residents into the city's borders, despite concerns that it is moving too quickly to annex a swath of apartment complexes along SW 20th Avenue.
    By a 3-2 vote, the City Commission gave its initial approval Monday night to the Urban Services Report, a document outlining the government services required for the area. That vote allows the city to proceed with a tight timetable of commission hearings and a 90-day waiting period, in order to have an election around May 1.

    Area raises $650,000 to attract Continental

  • If Continental Airlines agrees to come to Gainesville Regional Airport, the airline's first $650,000 in tickets are already sold, airport officials say.
    But with the airline industry in turmoil, it's still unclear whether Continental will accept the offer.
    "In this climate, we do not have the luxury of starting new service when there's not clear profit potential on a route," Continental spokesman Jeff Awalt said. "We're going to have to look at Gainesville very closely before we make a decision."
    Airport officials and local business leaders met Monday at the airport's passenger terminal to announce that they'd raised $650,000 for a "ticket trust" that would be used to buy Continental tickets if the airline agrees to establish twice-daily service from Gainesville to the airline's hub in Newark, N.J.
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