Week in review


Published: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 11:56 p.m.

Long says Portis charity will reimburse funding

  • The Clinton Portis Foundation hopes to have another celebrity fund-raiser in Gainesville, but will not ask the city or county for money to help defray costs, Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long said Monday.
    Long apologized for miscues during this year's April 15-16 fund-raiser, but added that local government will be reimbursed for the money it donated and that a scholarship in Portis' name will be created at Santa Fe Community College.

    Proposal for Lowe's on NW 13th in initial stages

  • A proposal to build a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse with garden center on the NW 13th Street sites formerly occupied by Kmart and Maas Brothers is in the initial stages of the city's process for reviewing and approving new development.
    City commissioners had earlier tried to persuade Wal-Mart to build a supercenter on the site, just north of NW 23rd Avenue, rather than on a property at U.S. 441 and NW 53rd Avenue.
    Redevelopment on the site has been seen as an important part of revitalizing the area.
    Gainesville Community Development Director Tom Saunders said Lowe's would add to other redevelopment efforts in the area, including the renovation of the Pick n' Save shopping center and the redevelopment of Verde Plaza on NW 13th Street and NW 23rd Avenue.
    "Because of all the residential that's been built nearby, because of all the existing residential around it and also because of the in-town traffic along that corridor, those sites have great potential for mixed use or commercial redevelopment," Saunders said.
    Upham Inc., a Ormond Beach development firm, will hold a "neighborhood workshop" for residents near the property, 2564 NW 13th Street, on May 10 to "obtain feedback and help guide this (Lowe's) project forward."

    Tench, longtime area judge and attorney, dies

  • Benjamin M. Tench Jr., who spent almost 50 years in Gainesville as an attorney and judge, died Monday at his home. He was 85.
    Mr. Tench most recently served as a senior court judge for the 8th Judicial Circuit.
    He was a circuit court judge until his retirement in 1990, at which time he remained a senior court judge until 2000.
    His friends and associates remember him as a caring man, and said he will be remembered most for the way he mentored and nurtured young attorneys who were just getting their feet wet in the matters of law.
    "Of all the things he did, mentoring young lawyers while he was a lawyer, and he continued that while he was a judge, had the most impact on the community," said Dick Jones, who was a partner in the law firm Tench, Goldin and Jones, which was founded in 1968.

    UF stadium better make way for 'Swamp Things'

  • Move over Gators - "The Swamp Things" are taking over the gridiron.
    After suggestions like Swamp Critters, Lethal Lizards and The Gator Pit, University of Florida students voted last week to name the student section of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium "The Swamp Things," announced the University Athletic Association on Wednesday.
    A committee of students and UF officials narrowed more than 500 names down to five and UF students weighed in, choosing "Things" as the winning entry.
    The name was submitted by UF finance student Tyler Boehling.
    Boehling said he was inspired by Wes Craven's movie "The Swamp Thing."
    Boehling compared the movie's title character - a green, swamp-dwelling, well, thing - to UF's energetic student fans.
    For the week of April 23 to April 29
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