Guardian Ad Litem names Brooksville business ‘Community Advocate of the Year’

Crank Works Bicycle Shop Logo
Crank Works Bicycle Shop in Inverness

Mark and Patricia Laird, of Crank Works Bicycle Shop in Brooksville has been honored as Community Advocates of the Year for the 5th Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.

For more than five years as small business owners, the Lairds and Crank Works have supported the Guardian ad Litem Program by provided new, gently used and reconditioned bicycles to our young clients free of charge.

But they haven’t stopped there.  In 2016 and 2017, CRANK WORKS sponsored the “Hilly Hundred” bike ride which has drawn large crowds of cyclists from Hernando and surrounding areas for their choice of a 66 miles or a 100 miles bike ride throughout the beautiful Florida landscape.

The “entry fee” is simply to “bring a new, unwrapped toy or gently used bicycle for the Guardian ad Litem program toy drive.” As a result of their continuing generosity and commitment to Hernando County GAL children, Crank Works was nominated to Governor Rick Scott for a “Champion of Service Award” for persons or businesses who demonstrate excellence in volunteerism, community service and corporate responsibility in their local community in an honorable and outstanding way.

For their contribution and desire to help our GAL children ride into a better future (on a Crank Works bike), we proudly name Mark and Patricia Laird and Crank Works Bicycle Shop as the 5th Circuit Community Advocate of the Year 2017.

Duke Energy Florida seeks storm cost recovery for Hurricane Irma

Duke Energy Power Station
  • Estimated restoration cost recovery is $381 million

  • Company also seeks $132 million to replenish storm reserve account

  • Residential customers would see a $5.20 monthly increase per 1,000 kWh of electricity, assuming 3-year recovery period

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Duke Energy Florida today filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to recover from customers an estimated $381 million in costs associated with the company’s response to September’s Hurricane Irma in Florida.

In addition, the company is seeking to recover $132 million to replenish its storm reserve fund for use in responding to future storms. The company depleted the remaining $62 million in the reserve fund as part of its Hurricane Irma storm response.

Based on updated estimates, residential customers will see an increase of $5.20per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill, assuming a three-year recovery period.

Commercial and industrial customers will see an increase of approximately 2.5 to 6.6 percent, though bills will vary depending on a number of factors.

Spreading the recovery over a three-year period will help reduce the monthly impact to customers.

Under the current settlement agreement, the company is authorized to begin recovering both the storm impact and reserve replenishment 60 days after filing a petition with the FPSC.

The FPSC will review the proposed initial storm cost recovery surcharge within 60 days.

The charge will become effective with the first billing cycle for March 2018 and will continue through February 2021. The FPSC will then schedule a hearing process to review the final actual costs and adjust the billing rate if necessary. This will occur later in 2018.

“This past hurricane season impacted Florida significantly, from damaging homes and infrastructure to affecting agriculture and tourism. Duke Energy Florida understands the impact this filing has on both our residential and business customers,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We will continue making smart investments to significantly enhance service reliability throughout the year, including during storm season.”

Irma was a historic hurricane which caused widespread, devastating damage across the Southeast region. However, utilities united and battled back with an unprecedented response.

Duke Energy crews and contractors traveled to Florida from as far as Canada to get 1.3 million customers restored as quickly and safely as possible.

In Florida, more than 12,000 line and field workers replaced approximately 1,800 distribution poles, 140 transmission poles and 1,100 transformers.

Duke Energy restored power to more than 75 percent of customers in just three days and 99 percent within eight days.