Weekend COVID-19

testing in DeSotoThe DeSoto County Health Department has secured the State’s Mobile Rural Testing Unit for this weekend. It will be at the Turner Center from 8 a.m.-noon today and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. The team on site will have the ability to administer up to 1,000 tests each day. Anyone interested in getting tested, with or without symptoms, will have the opportunity. Testing is free and a prescription or an appointment will not be required. All are welcome, including residents from surrounding counties.

Weekday testing will also continue on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Turner Center from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. For more information call the Health Department at 863-993-4601. For additional COVID-related information, visit desotobocc.com/covid-19-information-and-resources.

Lane closures on Burnt Store RoadLane closures will occur on Burnt Store Road about 1,000 feet north of the Heritage Landings entrance from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday until Thursday. Advanced warning signs and flaggers will be in place to aid in travel through this area. Travelers are encouraged to choose an alternate route when possible. The Public Works Department minds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of construction zones. For information, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Water service interruptionAll addresses within Heritage Landing in the Burnt Store service area will experience a water service interruption from approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. This is required work for the Burnt Store Road widening project. Customers within this area should plan on being without water service during this time. For future emergency notices, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov and click Utility Emergency Notices under Popular Links. For information, contact Stephen Kipfinger at 941-764-4300 or Stephen.Kipfinger@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Olean Boulevard closed nightly through Tuesday

Olean Boulevard, between U.S. 41 and Harbor Boulevard in Port Charlotte, will be closed nightly from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. until Thursday. During this time, the emergency room entrance to Fawcett Hospital will be relocated to the back. Please use the emergency room entrance on Brinson Avenue. All traffic will use Harbor Boulevard and Brinson Avenue for the detour. This closure is required for construction of the Olean Boulevard widening project and to prevent disruption to the local businesses. Detour signs will be in place directing traffic. Travelers are encouraged to choose an alternate route, such as Harbor Boulevard, when possible. The Public Works Department reminds motorists to remain alert at all times and to exercise caution when traveling in the vicinity of construction zones. For information on this project, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov/Olean.

Free guided walk at Oyster Creek

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center and the Charlotte County Natural Resource Department will be offering free programs this summer. Join CHEC on a free guided walk at 8 a.m. Aug. 13 through the old growth pine flatwoods and mangrove fringe of 125-acre Oyster Creek/Ann Dever Regional Park in Englewood. Be prepared with drinking water, insect repellent and appropriate footwear (trails may be flooded). You must register to participate. For more information/directions and to register, please call 941-475-0769. All programs cam be found at www.ChecFlorida.org.

Rain barrel class, kit offered

Sarasota County has updated its Rain Barrel Program to allow individuals to attend an online workshop, rather than in-person, to learn the myriad benefits of using rain barrels at home or around your business. Participants also will learn about basic setup and operation. Anyone interested in purchasing one (or more) of the bright-blue barrels can order and pay online, and then choose from a range of convenient days, times and locations to pick up the equipment.

Sarasota County launched the Rain Barrel Program in 2009, with the aim of helping participants conserve water and save money while reducing stormwater runoff and protecting the natural environment. Since then, residents and business owners have bought more than 3,300 barrels, or enough to collect 18 million gallons of our area’s annual rainfall.

Upcoming online Rain Barrel Workshops are set for Aug. 15 and Sept. 19. Learn more and register early (to save your spot) at tiny.cc/ufsaraext_rainbarrel.

Order and pay for rain barrels online through the same workshop registration page. During the registration process, simply select the number of barrels you’d like to purchase, and the date and location convenient for you to pick up the barrel(s)and equipment. Complete kits cost $37, plus fees, and include a barrel and basic connection plumbing.

Sarasota County Extension also is offering an online option to purchase starter composting kits, featuring the popular GEOBIN system. Online composting workshops already provide a wealth of information on the need for and benefits of composting, and the basics of setting up and maintain a thriving compost system. Find a convenient workshop at tiny.cc/ufsaraext_blackgold.

For more information, call 941-861-5000 or email sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu.

Sarasota County hiring poll workers


Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is urging Sarasota County voters to consider working as poll workers for the Aug. 18 Primary Election and Nov. 3 General Election.

“Sarasota County is facing a shortage of poll workers for coming elections, which are only months away,” Turner said. “Recruiting poll workers is always challenging but recruiting during the current health crisis makes it especially difficult to ensure adequate staffing levels at the polls,” he added.

Poll workers are paid for training and for working at the polls. The total compensation ranges from $160 to $275, depending on the position worked. Turner noted that, for the coming elections, his office is also recruiting bilingual (English-Spanish) workers, as well as high school and college students, who meet the criteria listed.

To be a poll worker, one must:

• Be a registered voter of Sarasota County (or be at least 16 years of age and pre-registered to vote);

• Be able to read, write and speak English,

• Complete state-mandated training prior to each election, and

• Be willing to work a minimum of 14 hours on Election Day, from 6 a.m. until after the polls have closed (7 p.m.) and all tasks have been completed.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, visit SarasotaVotes.com. You can complete and submit your application online in just a few minutes. For more information, call 941-861-8640.

Cultural Center Putting Contest

On Aug. 22, the Cultural Center of Charlotte County will be hosting the First Putting Contest at Riverwood Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $50 and will be used to support the Cultural Center, which has suffered financially due to COVID-19. With the purchase of a ticket, you will be assigned a time slot in order to maintain social distancing. Players will first shoot one 10-foot putt. All players who make that putt will then move on to shoot one 30-foot putt. All players who make the 30-foot putt with then have one attempt at a 50-foot putt. In the event that more than one player make all three putts, those players will participate in a 50-foot putt shootout for $10,000. For more information on participation or sponsorship, please contact Emily Lytle at 941-625-4175.

Face mask distribution at Charlotte pools

Charlotte County Community Services will begin distributing free cloth face masks at all county-operated aquatic facilities on a first-come, first-served basis during current operating hours. Aquatic facilities distributing face masks are located at Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park in Englewood, Port Charlotte Beach Park in Port Charlotte and South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda. For information, contact Mike Norton at 941-235-5024 or Mike.Norton@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

Learn something new

Charlotte County Community Services Libraries & History Division presents the Virtual “How-to Festival.” Every Monday through Friday in August, a brand-new video will air on Charlotte County Libraries & History Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CCLibraries.

Postings are designed for viewers to learn how to do something unique or acquire a brand-new skill from talented Charlotte County community members. Topics will cover a variety of areas: air conditioner upkeep, public speaking, line dancing, auto basics, hurricane boat prep, knot tying, proper pruning, water safety, book repair, stranger danger safety, rabbit rescue, internet safety, singing and poetry, saltwater pool upkeep, guitar tuning, and more. A schedule may be accessed on the Charlotte County Libraries & History website under the “How-To Festival” link. It will be a life-long learning cornucopia of opportunities in just one short month. For information, contact Bill MacDonald or Tracy Herman at 941-613-3176 or MidCountyLibrary@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

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