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Eclipse to be visible
from Tri-County Area

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 18, 2017 at 9:17 a.m.
     TRI-COUNTY AREA --
a relatively rate total solar eclipse will be visible in a narrow region across the United States of America, and people in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist County will be able to see a relatively good portion of this total eclipse on Monday (Aug. 21), according to scientists who calculate such things, given the view is not obscurred by clouds.

 


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     This solar eclipse will be visible in the Tri-County Area -- barring cloud cover that would preclude seeing it.
    IT IS NEVER SAFE TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN.
     Please look at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) site for safe eclipse viewing methods.
     The NASA site for safe viewing can be visited by clicking HERE.
     Although the path of totality will be visible along a narrow portion of the country, people outside of that area will see a near-total or partial eclipse.
     From the Tri-County Area, individuals can expect to see the moon cover 85.5 percent of the sun.
     The moon will be in the sun's path starting at 1:14 p.m. and continue for two hours 56 minutes. The best time to see the peak of the eclipse will be at 2:46 p.m. on Monday.


Levy County Commission revises
offer to employees


Jeremiah Tattersall speaks from the podium and tells the County Commission that the lawful and democratic method to decide employee pay and benefits is through negotiations with the two unions that represent the different workers for Levy County. To his left in the blue shirt is County Clerk Danny Shipp and farther in the background of this picture is Levy County Finance Director Jared Blanton, architect of revised health insurance offers for county workers.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 17, 2017 at 8:17 p.m.
Updated Aug, 18, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners in a special meeting on Thursday morning (Aug. 17) rescinded a previous plan to give raises to employees and it revised, again without negotiating with either of the public unions for workers, the health insurance benefit offer for employees.

     The two hours of discussion before the 5-0 vote on the motion by County Commissioner Mike Joyner, which was seconded by County Commissioner Matt Brooks, included input from County Commission Chairman John Meeks and county commissioners Rock Meeks and Lilly Rooks as well.
     Tax Collector Linda Fugate gave her input during the discussion, and after the vote, County Property Appraiser Osborn “Oz” Barker shared some of his thoughts as well.
     In all, while the focus was on specifics of offers for the workers, there was some more universal thought – such as the expression of a belief that municipalities with blight and slum, who use Community Redevelopment Areas (such as Cedar Key and Williston), are taking tax dollars from the whole of the county.


Levy County Coordinator Wilbur Dean reads the three different options the members of the Levy County Commission could choose as they revised their plan for employee health insurance coverage in the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.


County Commissioner Mike Joyner made the motion to adopt the option that matched what the county is contracted to do with its employees.


County Commissioner Matt Brooks seconded Joyner's motion. All five County Commission members worked to help reduce the drawdown from the reserve account the county has in its budget.


     Jeremiah Tattersall of the North Central Florida Central Labor Council and Katy Yanok, president of IAFF Local 4069, both tried to help the members of the County Commission understand that the commission did not follow the proper method for revising pay and benefits for the county government workforce.
     “I want to encourage you (County Commission) to go to the bargaining table not just because it is the lawful thing to do,” Tattersall said, “but because it increases democracy.”
     Tattersall said firefighter union members and other public service union members let their representatives know what they want in regard to a fair contract.
     The action on Aug. 17 was a reaction to an outcry from the workers after a July 18 meeting, where the County Commission adopted a plan to give some raises but to change health insurance coverage for workers, and for those who had them, for workers’ spouses and children who were on health insurance plans.
     That plan to only cover up to $9,512 per employee for health insurance in the year was undone on Aug. 17.
     Likewise, raises that had been proposed to offset this reduction in coverage were also undone.
     The deal created on Thursday shows the county covering health insurance for county employees. All costs for health insurance coverage for spouses and children of the employee, however, are to be completely borne by the employee.
     As for the mention of “tiered” raises, those are gone. No wage increases (raises) are being offered now, however those possible raises are to be subject to union negotiations.
     Commissioner Rooks asked County Coordinator Wilbur Dean if the raises were no longer being promised. He confirmed that. No raises are listed at this time, he said. Dean added that those raises listed before ranged from 2.5 percent to 10 percent for employees.
     Commissioner Rock Meeks said he preferred to go with the option closest to the contractual agreement, and as it was reviewed during the meeting on Thursday morning, that was “Option 2,” which is what scored the 5-0 vote.


Tax Collector Linda Fugate said she felt like people with families have enjoyed a benefit from health insurance over the years because the County Commission previously funded some level of that coverage. The latest version of this benefit shows zero help from the County Commission for spouses and children who are on employees' health insurance plans. However, the newest offer shows the county covering health insurance completely for its employees.

     Tax Collector Fugate said she has four of her employees that are using the family coverage. By the way, all of the county constitutional offices except the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Levy County School Board are part of this plan.
     “Over the years,” Fugate said, “the board (of county commissioners) has absorbed a certain amount toward the family coverage. It is my opinion; it is almost unfair to those that don’t have family coverage.”
     Tax Collector Fugate said she feels the employees with families that are covered are getting a benefit that people without families who are covered would receive. She labeled this as “a bonus every year that the other employees are not” receiving.
     She suggested instead of the county absorbing some amount of coverage for family, that the county give $942.46 times 12, which is $11,309.52, as the annual per-employee insurance allowance in this fiscal year. This way, each employee enjoys the same monthly benefit, she said.
     Instead, as noted, the county chose to cover employees completely and spouses and children with zero dollars toward health insurance.


Jimmy Jones, a Levy County EMT with going on 18 years of service to the residents and visitors of Levy County.

     Jimmy Jones, an EMT for Levy County Fire Rescue, was the next to speak.
     In March of 2018, Jones said, that will mark 18 years that he will have been employed in Levy County.
     Jones grew up in Levy County, he said, and he enjoys helping the people who helped him in his formative years.
     In the Emergency Medical Services department of Levy County, he has felt it always was like a tightknit family.
     Right now, Jones told the County Commission – as he mentioned that he knows all of them – he is not feeling that level of camaraderie that one feels from family.
     “We’re talking about our families here,” Jones said, “our loved ones, our children, our wives, our husbands…”
     He pled with the County Commission to take care of “not only our families… but Our Family.”
     Jones said he understands the need to be fiscally responsible. The county employees, he added, are not the cause of the fiscal problems.
     “So I don’t feel they are the ones to (carry the) burden to fix that,” Jones added.
     In 2007, Jones said, both labor unions volunteered to not seek pay increases because the workers all understood the economy was weak.
     Since then for the past decade, he continued, the pay increases ceased with the county government agreeing to absorb health insurance cost increases in lieu of pay raises.
     By the action the county was going to take, it would have removed the benefit accepted in lieu of wage increases, he said. If there was a 3 percent increase in pay per year, then he sees this as a potential 30 percent pay loss.
     IAFF 4069 President Katy Yanok added to this by answering a question Commissioner Joyner put forward about raises. She said some firefighters were awarded for investing their own money and time to take classes, which resulted in merit increases by them becoming better at their profession through ongoing educational programs.
     Linda Cooper, a Levy County taxpayer has been critical of the County Commission, said she would like to know how the county leaders plan to look forward to avoid a repeat performance like this.
     She noted that the failure of the county to negotiate with the unions before creating these plans is upsetting to her.


County Commission Chairman John Meeks

     Chairman Meeks reacted to Cooper’s comments.
     He said he was elected in 2012 and began serving in 2013. He is unable to speak about what previous County Commission members did or did not do, but he trusts they did the best they could for the county’s taxpayers and for the employees.
     In his first year, with a budget that already had been adopted, he found almost $200,000 where he could remove “wasteful spending.” The commission then cut the proposed budget by $1 million in 2013, he said.
     In 2014, the commission, Chairman Meeks said, “took a couple of steps back” and it made some purchases of equipment and added staff.
     In 2015, the County Commission held firm, the chairman said. Costs were going up for insurance, retirement contributions and in other areas, he said. Property values were not increasing as had been hoped.
     In 2016, Chairman Meeks, former County Coordinator Freddie Moody, County Clerk Danny Shipp and former Finance Director Sheila Rees cut everything possible from the budget – going line by line, Meeks said.
     Chairman Meeks said the team cut, and cut, and cut.
     Also in 2016, he said, he passed the gavel of chairmanship so that he could make the motion to increase property taxes to 9 mills.
     Chairman Meeks said the practice of cutting from expenses is good, but there is a need to increase revenue to get out of a deficit spending pattern, where the county had been pulling from its reserves.
     Meeks went on to remind people that just in the past few months, the County Commission approved a 5-cent-per gallon local option tax on gasoline purchases. This brings the local option tax amount to 11-cents per gallon on gasoline.
     The added 5-cent tax starts on Jan. 1, 2018. That money, he said, will help the Levy County Road Department fund what is needed for its work on roads. This will keep Road Department employees employed, and it will allow the county to continue to provide road maintenance services in the county.
     Local option gasoline sales tax, he said, is paid for by residents and visitors who buy gasoline in Levy County.
     Chairman Meeks said he and the other County Commission members faced choices -- fire employees; stop providing services; or cut overhead costs that increased in health insurance.
     Meeks said the budget for this year shows the county must spend almost $2.5 million on health insurance. The ad valorem property tax revenue for the county is about $14.5 million this year, he said after conferring with staff at the meeting.
     Meeks said this was too high of a percentage (about 20 percent) of the total budget to not take action this year. The County Commission saw this as an area where the budget could be revised.
     County Coordinator Dean mentioned that Levy County Finance Director Jared Blanton previously showed that Levy County was fifth highest in the state for the amount of money it contributed toward employee health insurance. Even with the change where spouses and children no longer get any coverage from the county, Levy County will still be eighth highest in the state, Dean said.
     IAFF Local 4069 President Yanok, in response to a statement Chairman Meeks had made about different levels of pay for different commissioners said this is not a valid point.
     By not negotiating with the unions before imposing revisions to pay and benefits, it causes a flaw, she said.
     “You may see it looks like we (employees) are being ungrateful (for proposed tiered pay increases and health insurance benefit revisions),” Yanok said. “Unfortunately, myself, the union officers, the union officers from the 630, we are all bound by law.”
     Even if any particular offer looks good to her, she said, it would be in violation of the law regarding public union negotiations, and it is an unfair labor practice for her to accept this without negotiating.
     This is not about employees being greedy, Yanok continued. This is about the process being performed properly between management and labor to reach an agreement on conditions of employment.
     Since the July 21 offer from the union to schedule additional negotiation meetings, the county has not responded, Yanok said.


County Commissioner Rock Meeks


     County Commissioner Rock Meeks, near the end of the very long discussion, said Levy County has the best employees in the State of Florida. Every department has excellent employees, he said.
     This choice, Commissioner Meeks said, has been tough for him.
     “These decisions,” he said, “are by far the toughest decisions I have made as a sitting county commissioner. Without a doubt, I have lost sleep. I worry about each employee that we have.”
     Rock Meeks was an employee of Levy County before he was elected as a county commissioner.
     He reminded people that over the years, the County Commission has been spending down its reserve of revenue.
     If it continued as it had, Commissioner Meeks said, then within two years it would have hit the point where it would have to start laying off employees and adding them to the numbers of unemployed people.
     “I don’t want to sit in this seat and make that decision (about who to remove as employees)," Rock Meeks said.


County Commissioner Lilly Rooks


     County Commissioner Lilly Rooks said that no matter what the County Commission does, the employees will think the decision is wrong.
     Chairman Meeks added to that sentiment.
     He said people should not be bitter about what they see as a benefit that is being taken away from them.
     “The argument could be made ‘I work here for benefits,’” Chairman Meeks said. “You know, I understand that. And I hate it.
     “You still have good insurance on yourself as an employee,” Chairman Meeks said. “You have the opportunity to purchase damn good insurance for your family. It may be expensive. You may be able to go out to the private sector, like, Jacob said.”
     Meeks went on to say some other employees told him they found private sector health insurance options.
     “Some people don’t have that option,” he continued. “They are in too bad of health. They’re in the wrong age group. Their kids are teenagers and they cost too much to insure. Whatever the issues are; if you went out and found better insurance then we haven’t done you a wrong. We have actually done you a service.”
     After the vote had been cast, Property Appraiser Barker spoke to the County Commission and to the people in the standing-room only meeting room.
     Barker said he has six of his nine employees who use health insurance from the county for their families.
     The amount that it will cost them is $587 a month, or $7,044 extra a year, Barker said.
     Barker was elected in 2008 and he took office in 2009. At the time of his starting, there were 15 employees in the office. Through attrition and not replacing employees, the staff was cut to nine people, Barker said.
     His budget dropped 35 percent after the first four years, Barker added.
    Barker said he agrees with the County Commission’s choice in revising the insurance plan for workers to reduce the deficit spending, which takes from the reserves in the budget. He said this is something that has been needed for years.


FDOT to replace
two bridges to Cedar Key;

Open house slated for Aug. 29;
Work set to begin next month
By Troy Roberts
Communications Specialist
District Two, Northeast Florida
Florida Department of Transportation
Published Aug. 15, 2017 at 10:57 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY –
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is scheduled to begin the replacement of two bridges leading to and from Cedar Key next month, weather permitting.

     Ahead of the bridge replacements at Daughtry Bayou on Airport Road and Lewis Pass on Gulf Boulevard, FDOT will host an Open House on Aug. 29 for residents who may have questions about the project.
     Replacement of the two bridges is scheduled to begin in early September. Temporary bridges will be installed to maintain access while the old bridges are removed and new bridges are constructed.
     FDOT has hired Anderson Columbia Co., Inc., of Lake City, to complete the $7.8 million project.
     Replacement of both bridges is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.
     FDOT has scheduled a construction Open House ahead of the start of the project and is scheduled to take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 29 at the Cedar Key Community Center (809 Sixth St.). Staff will be available to answer questions and provide maps and flyers to residents and visitors seeking more information.


FEMA warns of fake
eclipse-viewing glasses

NASA offers safe tips
to see the eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21

Published Aug. 14, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
     WASHINGTON, D.C.
-- Millions of Americans will watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse and have already purchased (or will purchase) eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to do so, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) noted in a press release.

     Some of these people may be at risk from counterfeit glasses and viewers sold by disreputable vendors trying to cash in on this rare event. Watching the eclipse with fake protective gear can cause permanent eye damage, making this a community risk reduction issue, FEMA noted.
     Only glasses and viewers verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 are safe to use when viewing the eclipse. This standard requires glasses and viewers to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.
     It may be difficult to tell the difference between genuine protective gear and fake glasses/viewers because some counterfeit makers are placing ISO labels on them.
     The American Astronomical Society has guidance to help eclipse watchers determine if their eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers are safe. Click HERE for a list of good vendors.
     In addition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recommends that eclipse watchers refer to the NASA’s website for safe viewing tips by clicking HERE.

 


LifeSouth Community
Blood Centers clears hurdle;

Thanks expressed to all;
Dixie County Rotary Club results shared

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 14, 2017 at 11:47 a.m.
     TRI-COUNTY AREA --
A donor recruitment assistant with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers on Monday morning (Aug. 14) noted. "We were just asked to take down our emergency signs. LifeSouth is no longer in emergency need status."
     LifeSouth only uses the word “emergency” when the reserve supply to restock area hospitals drops below a two-day level.
     "We hope that those who gave during the emergency period will come back (when they are eligible) to donate again and help avoid shortages in the early fall," she added.
     The blood donation center noted its appreciation for all donors at all times.
     LifeSouth Community Blood Centers provided results, too, from a recent blood drive by the Rotary Club of Dixie County.
     Dixie County Rotarian Holly Houghton and other Rotarians were thanked for their work in this regard.
     The Dixie County Rotary Community Blood Drive held on Aug. 9 resulted in the following donations.
     Prospective Donors: 15
     Deferred Donors: 2
     Actual Donations: 13
     This included one apheresis donation. There were seven first-time blood donors.   
     When one blood donation can save up to three lives, the LifeSouth spokesperson said, it is easy to see how donating blood can make a significant difference in someone’s life.

CF cuts the ribbon
at new campus in Levy County
Dignitaries cut the ribbon Friday (Aug. 11) at the ceremony to dedicate the new Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus of the College of Central Florida. Fred Roberts Jr., chairman of the CF Foundation (left) and CF District Board Chairman Bill Edgar handle ribbon-cutting duties. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Raynne Giddis, provost of the new campus; dairy farmer and donor Ron St. John; CF President Dr. James Henningsen; land donor Loy Anne Mann; Roberts; Edgar; State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22) who successfully lobbied for state funding to build the college; Ron Ewers, district board of trustees member; Joyce Brancato, Levy County representative on district board of trustees; District Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Rusty Branson; Don Taylor of the district board of trustees; and Vernon Lawter, vice president of regional campuses.

Story and Photos
By Terry Witt, Senior Reporter of HardisonInk.com
© Aug. 12, 2017 at 12:37 p.m., All Rights Reserved
     LEVY COUNTY --
The College of Central Florida unveiled the campus of the Jack Wilkinson Levy Center north of Chiefland on Friday (Aug. 11).

     The main structure is a two-story set of classrooms, labs, meeting rooms, a workout room and administrative offices that has been 13 years in the making. There appears to be ample parking. Vending machines are the main source for food and drink currently.
     Constructed with community donations totaling $3.5 million and another $11.5 million in state funding, this new CF campus is the first permanent structure for the college in Levy County.
     The ribbon-cutting took place at the front entrance of the main building, with the ribbon and participants being framed by colonial style columns.


(from left) Ron St. John, a donor to the college and local dairyman, Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Stewart Wasson and Levy County Property Appraiser Osborn Barker (walking behind them) take a tour of the new college campus.



The Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus won the hearts of many with its stylish architecture


Dr. James Henningsen, president of the College of Central Florida addresses the assembled guests and dignitaries from the podium in the conference center of the new campus.


The executive meeting room offers ample space for meetings. The college meeting room facilities are open to all people for use. Just contact CF for more information about the potential to uses a meeting room.

The front entrance of the campus administrative and classroom building is framed by tall columns dwarfing visitors entering for the first time.
 
College officials expressed pride in the science laboratory -- complete with drop-down screens.
 

The student lounge is roomy with large windows.


An exercise room is available for students to utilize

     The entire campus overlooks a small forest along U.S. Highway 19, north of Chiefland south of the City of Fanning Springs.
     The campus is named in honor of the late Jack Wilkinson, a former Chiefland High School math teacher and Chiefland farmer who gave the college $2.5 million as a gift from his personal fortune.
     Wilkinson lived in a modest residence along U.S. Alt. 27, and few individuals would have surmised that he was a relatively wealthy man, until after he had presented the breathtaking gift to CF.
     When asked why he gave CF the gift, Wilkinson said he had dedicated his life to teaching children, and this present was in keeping with his life’s work as an educator.
     The CF District Board of Trustees voted to name the campus in  Wilkinson’s honor in 2009.
     Former CF Trustee Loy Ann Mann and her husband, the late Dr. Jack Mann, a Chiefland chiropractor, had donated 15.3 acres of undeveloped land for the college site in 2006.
     This couple started the series of other actions resulting in the campus coming to fruition this year.
     Additional property was purchased by the college in 2007.
     The new building itself is named in honor of the family of Ron and Marcia St. John, who donated land to CF that was sold to generate additional cash for constructing the classroom and administrative building.
     The building is named the St. John Educational Center.
     Drummond Community Bank and its founder Luther Drummond, president and CEO, donated for construction of the college as did countless other donors.
     “This wouldn’t have happened without community support,” said Dr. James Henningsen, CF president.
     The building looks classy.
     “The facility will be important to dual enrollment students who will be impressed with the seriousness of college. There will be no mistaking this for a high school,” said Warren Parkin, a visitor to the dedication.
     The Levy campus of CF has been housed since 1993 in the Providence Mall Shopping Center across U.S. 19 from Chiefland High School. The lease on the mall space expires on Aug. 31.
     Before the 1993 opening in what is also called the Save-A-Lot shopping center, the campus was housed at the Bronson center east of Bronson since 1982.
     Dr. Rayanne Giddis, provost of the Levy Campus, said 786 students had been enrolled at the Levy Campus in Chiefland, but 200 new students have been added.
     While the campus won’t officially open for classes until the third week of August, students can register now at the new campus during weekday business hours.
     The college also has online classes.
     Bob Hastings, who was the Levy County superintendent of schools when the new building began to receive community donations and state funding, said he was very impressed by the new campus.
     He and Carol Sullivan, also a visitor at Friday’s dedication were members of the CF board when the vote was taken to move forward with a permanent campus. Sullivan said either Hastings or she made the motion and one of them seconded it.
     “I’m telling you this turned out to be so nice,” Hastings said. “I think this will add a lot to Levy County. The difference between the storefront center in Chiefland and this is amazing. When you come here, you know you’re in college.”
     John Adams, landscape architect for the campus, said CF committed to preserving as many trees as possible. He believes the trees make the campus fit well with its surroundings.
     “I think it says a lot about fitting the campus in instead of just plotting it in,” Adams said. “The college had this commitment to save these trees across the front. When you drive past on U.S. 19 you are looking through trees at the college.”
     The rear of the college connects with more forest and the Nature Coast State Trail, a walking and bicycling trail stretching from south Chiefland through Fanning Springs and across the Suwannee River before terminating in Cross City..
 

Lost man finds
remote EMS station

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 11, 2017 at 8:17 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
An 80-year-old Thonotosassa man who left his house Thursday (Aug. 10) ended up just north of Inglis on Thursday evening, according to information from an Emergency Medical Technician and Lt. Scott Tummond of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

     Dennis Edward Truluck, 80, went missing from his Hillsborough County residence on Thursday, and given his suffering from Alzheimer’s, his wife contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which issued a “silver alert.”
     Levy County Department of Public Safety EMT John Partain said in a telephone interview on Friday that the man knocked on the door at the LCDPS Rescue Station on Thursday evening.
     EMT Partain and LCDPS Paramedic Thomas Waldron were on duty then at the LCDPS Emergency Medical Services outpost located behind a former Florida Highway Patrol building on the west side of U.S. Highway 19 north of Inglis and south of Gulf Hammock.
     Truluck had driven a pickup truck there, Partain said.
     The confused man asked for help. He was unable to say who he was or where he came from, Partain said.
     Partain used the only ID that the man had - a health insurance card -- and he asked that company’s representative for help in identifying this confused man.
     The EMT obtained a telephone number and called the man's wife.
     The LCSO took custody of the missing man who had just been found. Family members came to the final rescue, collecting Truluck from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.
     Partain said this seems like the fourth elderly person who was lost who came to the EMS station near Inglis this year, although one of those four was in an electric wheelchair riding on U.S. 19, he said.
    Partain has a 28-year record with first response service.
     He was involved with law enforcement for 12 years and with Levy County Fire Rescue for the past 16 years.
     Sandwiched between law enforcement and being an EMT, he worked for seven years specifically helping patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.
     The EMT said he is glad that he and LCDPS Paramedic Waldron were able to have helped this family find their lost loved one.


Yankeetown-Inglis
Woman's Club seeks help with
Kidz Eatz weekend meals

By Marty Hilliard of the Y-I WC
Published Aug. 10, 2017 at 7:47 a.m.
     YANKEETOWN --
There are 15.9 million children who live in households in the United States of America where they are unable to consistently access nutritious food necessary for a healthy life, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

     Therefore, we have children in our own country who go hungry. 
     In 2014, the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman’s Club realized that many of the students at Yankeetown School were returning to school hungry on Monday mornings after going home on Fridays.
     Due to a myriad of reasons, those children of southern Levy County didn’t have access to food over the weekends.
     Kids in our own community were part of the USDA statistics. There were one in five (20 percent) who were not eating on weekends.
     The members of the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club in 2014 decided this was unacceptable, and that we needed to “Make It Better!"
     We formalized the program with a name, a pantry and volunteers to package food for the kids to take home.
     Kidz Eatz Weekend Meal Program became a reality. Community member Chris Fineout accepted the challenge of coordinating the unbelievable outpouring of support from the communities of Yankeetown and Inglis.
     Three years ago, the cost to provide seven meals and snacks for one student for the school year was $150 and we were feeding 20 kids. Today both numbers have grown. We now provide food to 30 students at the staggering cost of $325 each!
     Once again, when the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club reached out for help to cover increased food costs, our neighbors and community businesses came to the rescue. When presented with the statistics concerning our own kids, many of them made substantial donations to keep the Kidz Eatz Weekend Meal Program going. 
     This all-volunteer endeavor is asking for help from our neighbors once again. You can purchase items on our food list for a month or a year; you can make a monetary donation and we’ll purchase the needed items for you; you can volunteer to help pack the food each week or volunteer to shop for items not donated. It's your choice. But know that anything you choose to do will directly impact the life of a child and certainly your own. 
     Contact Chris Fineout at 352-586-3415 or email the Woman’s Club at yiwomansclub@gmail.com for all of the details on what food items are needed or where your talents can be used best.
     Our club thanks our community neighbors for allowing the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman’s Club to be the conduit for “Making It Better” in our towns. Together let us HELP keep Yankeetown School from being part of the USDA statistics and let NO child go hungry!




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92nd Jingle Performers

Pastor Alex Christian and his wife Velma Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland sing the jingle on Tuesday morning (Aug. 8, 2017) in the pastor’s office. The couple had just finished conferring with the publisher of HardisonInk.com when they were asked and agreed to sing the jingle. Each performer or set of performers brings his or her, or their (when it is two or more performers) own special something to the jingle. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to hardisonink@gmail.com. He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it. (Thanks people!)
Published Aug. 8, 2017 at 2:17 p.m. © Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

 

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--UPDATED--
FRIDAY Aug. 18  1:17 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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Click on the ad above to go to the CF website for the Levy Campus.



Doctor Bill Martin Orthodontist

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--UPDATED--
FRIDAY  Aug. 11  7:17 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties