Orchid grown by High Springs Mayor wins award


High Springs Mayor Sue Weller’s award winning orchid C. Peckhaviensis ‘Amethyst'.

Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6:35 p.m.

High Springs Mayor and orchid enthusiast Sue Weller received the Award of Merit by the American Orchid Society for her orchid, C. Peckhaviensis ‘Amethyst’ at the Kanapaha Fall Festival and Orchid Show last week.

Weller has been growing this orchid for about two years and almost didn’t enter it for judging. When asked why she chose the name Amethyst, Weller stated, “I’ve always thought Amethyst was a beautiful gem and felt the color of amethyst was indicative of this orchid.” For more information on the American Orchid Society, please visit aos.com.


Gainesville resident Kemi Osoba is a member of the second class of Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowships provided by FleishmanHillard, a global communications firm. Osoba will work in FleishmanHillard’s office in Dallas, Texas.

The fellowship program, which honors FleishmanHillard’s co founder Alfred Fleishman, is part of FleishmanHillard’s Diversity Matters initiative and provides six- to 12-month paid fellowships, including benefits, to seniors, recent graduates and graduate students at U.S. colleges and universities.


Karen Reed, a clinical assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Nursing, is in Kampot Province in Cambodia for a 10-month assignment educating undergraduate nursing students and providing professional development opportunities for Cambodian nurses thanks to a Fulbright Scholar grant.

This will be Reed’s fifth trip to Cambodia, building on an 11-week trip in 2012. She has served as a volunteer mentor to the nursing students at the Technical School for Medical Care in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and has taught as a volunteer in the school’s undergraduate nursing program. Reed has also provided continuing education programs to the staff nurses at Jeremiah’s Hope and the Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope in Phnom Penh.

She is the first nurse to receive a Fulbright Scholar grant for work in Cambodia and will be the first Fulbright Scholar from UF to travel to Cambodia.

The Fulbright Scholar program provides teaching and/or research grants to U.S. faculty and experienced professionals, who travel abroad to lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.


The North Florida law firm of McNeal & Yochim, P.L., operating out of Gainesville for nearly four years, is dissolving. The firm was formed in January 2013 by Kelly R. McNeal and Karen S. Yochim, both graduates of the Levin School of Law at the University of Florida. McNeal has formed her own firm, McNeal Legal, L.L.C., as a sole proprietor. McNeal’s new firm will focus on expanding coverage of civil litigation and family law. She also plans to focus more on her continuing civil and appeals practice, representing individuals and businesses.For more information about this release, contact McNeal Legal, L.L.C. at (352) 283-8151, or visit our website at http://mcneallegal.com.


The Center for Independent Living North Central Florida, or CILNCF, recently hosted the 13th annual High School High Tech, or HSHT, Kick-off Event in Alachua County at the Best Western Gateway Grand. The kick-off celebrated the start of a new school year and the success of the center’s students. The event included a recognition ceremony to honor: HSHT students who successfully completed a summer internship; employer partners who served as adult mentors to HSHT students with disabilities throughout their summer internship experiences; Florida Works, whose partnership makes it possible for the HSHT Program to offer paid summer internships to its students; teacher sponsors at Gainesville, Buchholz, Santa Fe and Newberry High School, who work with the HSHT Program throughout the school year; and HSHT graduates who successfully graduated from high school and the HSHT Program

Florida High School High Tech is an enrichment and transition program to provide young people with all types of disabilities with the opportunity to explore jobs and post secondary education leading to technology-related careers.

CILNCF is a local disability resource center that in the past year has served over 4,000 consumers, 2,221 of those in Alachua County.


Donald and Sara Rich recently donated $40,000 to support the UF Health Shands Hospital Housing voucher fund and to establish the Samaritan Housing Fund.

The Riches, who founded The Samaritan Hospitality House Inc. after their daughter, Leslie, was treated at UF Health Shands Hospital for a ruptured brain aneurysm, made the donation to assist families struggling to find affordable housing while their loved one receives long-term treatment at UF Health.

To learn more about the Samaritan Housing Fund, contact The Samaritan Hospitality House Inc. at 229-263-5676 or donate@samaritanhospitality.com. People can also contribute to the Samaritan Housing Fund (Fund number F018827) by calling 877-351-2377.

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