1/8 LOCAL BRIEFS: Manatee gets Race to the Top funds

TALLAHASSEE -- The state’s education department has released a second round of school districts that have been awarded Race to the Top funds -- federal grant dollars to be used for kindergarten through 12th grade education throughout Florida.

The first 11 counties to be named were Manatee, Alachua, Calhoun, Clay, DeSoto, Gulf, Hendry, Holmes, Pasco, Putnam and Washington. Friday, education department officials added 13 other counties to the list bringing a total of $65 million that has been awarded. The new counties are: Charlotte, Citrus, Columbia, Jefferson, Lake, Leon, Madison, Monroe, Okaloosa, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia.

County computers going down next weekend

MANATEE -- Manatee County government’s website and Utility Customer Service System will be inaccessible next weekend when crews perform major electrical work at Manatee County Administrative Center.

David Thompson, building maintenance division manager, said heavy duty maintenance to the electrical system of the building will cause Manatee County Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., to be entirely powered down next weekend.

As a result, www.mymanatee.org will be inaccessible from the night of Friday, Jan. 14, until the night of Saturday, Jan. 15. Utility bills and other county online business services will be inaccessible during that time; however cash payments for utility bills may be made at all Amscot locations.

The lobby at Manatee County Utilities Department will close at noon Jan. 14 and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“The repairs will allow future mechanical retrofits and align electrical systems throughout the building,” Thompson said. “The repairs will extend the electrical systems life of the building.”

A core data switch will remain running in order to maintain Florida Department of Law Enforcement functions. Public Safety functions and 911 dispatch systems will not be impacted.

Officials expect minimal impact to Manatee libraries. For more information, call (941) 745-3771.

-- Herald staff reports