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Peanut harvest starts
first in southern Levy County
(This Story Is Below - Should I Be A 'Hands-on' Investor?)

Viewers create all-time record
~ 12,169 unique visitors ~

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 1, 2014

     THE WORLD -- Viewers set a new all-time record for the best daily news website that covers the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties as continues in its fourth year, according to information collected from Google Analytics and cPanel®.

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     Google Analytics and cPanel® are independent, third-party automated programs that are used to measure traffic on the Internet.
     Viewers all over the world brought to the one million hits mark again in July as this fourth July reflects a four-year trend that continues.
     Beyond that, however, there were 12,169 unique visitors to the website between July 1 and July 31, according to those programs that measure various facets of Internet traffic.
     Stories, photos, videos and advertisements are continually being viewed more often and by more people. Interestingly, it was just this past month that national advertising started appearing on certain pages on a daily basis.
     “Everyone wins with,” sole proprietor Jeff M. Hardison said. “There is no subscription fee. The daily news service is often updated twice, three times and even four times within a 24-hour period. Advertisers show the communities that they support a high quality, free press, as well as showing viewers the place to buy their products and services.”
     The two factors driving numbers higher are continuous high quality of writing, photography, videography and advertisement creation; and the passion and spirit of the staff and other contributors.
     The first gauge, which like the other measures shows a growth rate of the same caliber when comparing July of 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 is Unique Visitors. defines unique visitor as "a person who visits a Web site more than once within a specified period of time." Software used for this report can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors -- who return to the site.
     The unique visitor is different from a site's hits or page views -- which are measured by the number of files that are requested from a site -- unique visitors are measured according to their unique Internet Protocol addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site after they have visited it twice.
July 2011 – 1,955
July 2012 – 5,606
July 2013 – 8,396
July 2014 – 12,169
     The number of visits is how many times the unique visitors came to the pages.
July 2011 – 3,669
July 2012 – 13,594
July 2013 – 20,381
July 2014 – 28,955
     The number of pages viewed is how many pages were looked at.
July 2011 – 25,387
July 2012 – 74,032
July 2013 – 137,948
July 2014 – 127,227
     Once again, the one million hits mark was surpassed. In 2014, the million-a-month seems to be motto. Hits -- like the other measurements recorded by these robotic programs -- show a level of traffic.
     Advertisers with see an excellent return on their investment, not just for their own bottom line, but for the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
July 2011 – 182,892
July 2012 – 654,681
July 2013 – 947,508
July 2014 –1,057,607
     “These figures from independent third-party programs reflect that there are more people each day who use as this service continues to grow,” Hardison said. “And the people who visited the site are returning daily. Actually, the number of people has been satisfactory to me since the first day.” continues to grow in readers, viewers and listeners (yes, the videos have sound). More and more business owners and other individuals are seeing that this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news. It is also the best medium to advertise. has the Weather Bug on the Home Page for all current weather and forecasting needs, including radar and Weather Alerts. It has columns for health, gardening, quilt reports, Christian devotionals and more. provides information from Alachua, Marion, Citrus, Marion, Columbia and other counties as well as statewide and national news on occasion.
ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING is visible for free to anyone who can see pages on the Internet. It is funded entirely by advertisers. Not only do advertisers help the world see Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, but those sponsors enjoy the most exposure for the least dollars.
     "We don't put up winky-blinky ads or pop-up ads," Hardison said. "Our ads are not lost in a blurry mess of black and white ink on low-grade paper. All of our local advertisers are listed, too, on the advertiser index on the home page. The national ads are on the bottoms of certain pages, and they do change often."
     Ads fund the whole operation. There are no subscription fees.
     "It's the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, and beyond," Hardison said. "All of the business owners and other interests who advertise with me see an excellent return on their investment. Please call 352-493-9950 to speak with me about buying an ad for your business or service."

CFR appears to be
more efficient than LCDPS

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 30, 2014
     CHIEFLAND -- A cursory review on Monday night (July 28) of the budgets and results of action, by comparing Chiefland Fire Rescue Department (CFR) and the Levy County Department of Public Safety Department (LCDPS) shows taxpayers potentially get more bang for their buck with CFR than with LCDPS in regard to cost-per-run ratios.
     In his regular reports to the Chiefland City Commission, Chiefland Fire Chief James Harris also spoke about one problematic vehicle the department owns. Harris also mentioned “three EMS deaths,” one of whom was Chiefland accounting specialist Carol Marie Allen (March 2, 1956 - July 24, 2014). She worked as a bookkeeper for the City of Chiefland for 16 years. Allen’s funeral was earlier that same day.
     Chief Harris told the City Commission he was unprepared to speak about the deaths, but he could answer questions if anyone had them. None of the city commissioners asked any questions about those “three EMS deaths.”
CityMgr072914B     The truck is at a transmission shop. Robert Shelton’s funeral was Tuesday (July 29) and he is a principle at the business, the chief intimated as he spoke to the City Commission.

Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey is now among the leaders who are attempting to work with the county so that Chiefland CFR is allowed to provide Advance Life Support services while CFR paramedics wait for the county ambulance. Lives may be saved in the near future if this new procedure is allowed.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison

     “Second gear is out of it,” the chief told City Commissioner Betty Walker when she asked about the “squad” truck – the one used primarily for EMS response.
     The one-ton diesel 2005 Ford “is not a very good truck,” Harris said.
     Walker expressed her opinion that when a vehicle keeps costing more and more for repairs, it is time to replace it.
     City Commissioner Chris Jones said he knows a person who can fix the problems with the truck. Replacing the transmission unit, Jones said, will be expensive.
     Don Barrett of White Ford recommended replacing the truck after it was in for repairs last time, the chief said.
     “I don’t want to replace the truck,” Harris said. “I don’t want to go in debt. I’ve got other problems besides trucks. I can tell you that right now.”
     Mayor Teal Pomeroy said using a fire engine for EMS calls is too expensive. Harris said the department is using a different pickup truck for EMS calls now.
     Jones said the truck can be repaired. He recommended taking it out of the hands of White Ford.
     Chief Harris said the CFR budget for repair and maintenance of trucks is currently less than what has had to have been spent in this fiscal year.
     Harris said he and Vice Mayor Teresa Barron were at a Levy County Commission budget workshop the previous week.
     Chiefland, Williston and Cedar Key all requested to have the allotment  budgeted to those departments last year for equipment to be placed in the budget for the departments this year as money, without those strings attached, Vice Mayor Barron said.
    That 6 percent figure was not approved at the meeting. Another meeting on Aug. 5 is when the County Commission will be say whether it is granting the request from the three cities’ fire departments, Barron said.
     That will be after that regular meeting on Tuesday, Harris said.
     The county budget last year for fire service was $2.4 million, Harris told the City Commission. The tentative county fire budget is $2.49 million this year, Harris said, and LCDPS Director David Knowles shows zero increases for any of the six municipal fire departments.
     There is $800,000 budgeted for the municipal fire departments to use on protecting the county areas around the cities, Barron said. The almost $1.7 million remaining is for the LCDPS.
     Mayor Teal Pomeroy said it pays for the county to subcontract fire protection from the cities.
     “It sounds like a heckuva deal for the county,” Pomeroy said.
     Barron said the return on investment for the $800,000 for municipal fire departments is far better than what the county gets from its own department.
     A document generated by former City Manager Kevin Gay shows the cost per call of the two agencies – CFR and LCDPS. That document that it costs $2,548.22 per call for the LCDPS and it costs $284.29 per call for CFR.
     This includes every call by the CFR – EMS, fire and other, Gay noted.
     “Has anyone considered the cost to benefit ratio for the taxpayer to create and duplicate services to build a new County Department?” Gay asked a couple of months ago.
     The figure from the 2013 city and county budgets, and from the city and county calls for service is what Gay used to determine the cost for city response being about one-tenth as expensive as the county.

Chief Adds Color
Chiefland Police Chief Robert Douglas tells the Chiefland City Commission that the suspected vehicle thief who died last week after a three-county chase began his run near to where the chief lives in Marion County. Douglas went on to say that a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff's Office shot out a tire of the stolen vehicle when it was in the Fanning Springs area, but that the thief just kept driving the Dodge Ram pickup truck. Earlier in the chase, Douglas said cruisers had the suspect boxed in, but the teenager used the big diesel-powered Dodge Ram to drive over a cruiser. As noted in a previous story on, officers Douglas Russell and Arnaldo Colon with the Ocala Police Department began investigating a stolen black 2008 Ram 2500 that was taken by David Allen Newmeyer Jr., 17. The boy is said to have taken keys for the truck from a board where customers hang them as they use To Your Health Spa, at 2841 S.W. 29th St., in Ocala. The call for help came at 7 a.m. on Wednesday (July 23), and the OPD was there within seven minutes, according to records. The truck had an estimated value of $25,000, according to records provided by OPD Public Information Officer Angy Scroble. In addition to the truck, there was a wallet with cash and credit cards in it, and the victim -- Christopher C. Morris, 29, of Ocala, reported a .38 caliber semiautomatic Taurus pistol was in the vehicle as well. The suspected thief's father David Allen Newmeyer Sr. told the victim that the boy had bragged about stealing his grandfather's truck the night before and that he intended to steal another one, according to the OPD report. Chief Douglas did not speak much about the venture of the thief through Chiefland. Douglas did say the Ram went onto the property of Chiefland High School and then went northbound in the southbound lane of U.S. Highway 19. An eyewitness at the intersection of U.S. Alt. 27 and U.S. 19 said she counted 15 police cars chasing the Ram at that point. For more information about the theft and subsequent actions, please see one of the previous stories, which is now archived and can be seen by clicking HERE. Gretl Plessinger of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement intimated in an email to on Monday that it may be a month before the FDLE completes its investigation of whether Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. used excessive force to stop the marauding truck thief who refused to stop, and who reportedly damaged a cruiser while fleeing.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison is a great place to advertise!

Jingle Singer

The newest performer of the jingle is Gilchrist County Clerk Todd Newton. Everyone is invited to sing the jingle. You can be featured here. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree. (Thanks people!) This video was posted July 18, 2014. Next Singers To Be Posted – Gilchrist County Supervisor of Elections Connie Sanchez, Gilchrist County Assistant Supervisor of Elections Tracy Ridgeway, and Gilchrist County Supervisor of Elections Deputy Clerk Lisa Slaughter. (This will be Ridgeway’s second appearance as a jingle singer.)

-- Video by Jeff M. Hardison

Another email to use to contact Jeff M. Hardison



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FRI. AUG. 1  2:17 p.m.
Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties

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