During holidays,
be extra vigilant about
protecting financial data

Published Nov.20, 2017 at 6:47 a.m.
     To help achieve your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you should save and invest regularly.


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     But that’s only part of the picture. You also need to protect your financial assets in various ways. One such method is guarding your personal information – especially any information that could be linked to your financial accounts. It’s obviously important to be vigilant at any time, but you need to be even more on your toes during the holiday season, when fraudsters are particularly active.
     So, to help keep your important data under wraps during the holidays, consider these suggestions:
     • Extend your protection to all mobile devices. Identity thieves can now compromise your mobile devices by installing spyware that steals usernames, passwords and credit card information. Fortunately, you can fight back. By doing a little research online, you can find the best mobile security software for your needs.
     • Use multiple passwords. Online security specialists recommend that you use different passwords for each new online shopping site you visit during the holiday season. Although this might seem like a hassle, it can be helpful, because even if identity thieves were to grab one of your new passwords, they still couldn’t use it for other sites you may visit. And you can even find a free online program that can help you keep track of all your passwords.
     • Be suspicious of “huge savings.” It happens every holiday season – identity thieves develop fake sites with attractive graphics and stunningly low prices on a variety of items, especially digital devices. If you fall for these pitches, you won’t get any merchandise, but you might get a handful of headaches once the bad guys have your credit card number and other personal information. To prevent this, be wary of any deal that sounds too good to be true, and do some digging on the websites that offer these mega-savings.
     • Watch for fake shipping notices. During the holidays, when you may do a lot of online shopping, you will probably receive some legitimate shipping notices. But the bad guys have gotten pretty good at generating fake notices designed to resemble those from UPS, FedEx and even the U.S. Postal Service. If you were to click on the link provided by one of these bogus notices, you could either take on some malware or get taken to a “phishing” website created by the shipping notice forgers. Your best defense: Only shop with legitimate merchants and only use the tracking numbers given to you in the email you received immediately after making your purchases.
     • Keep your Social Security number to yourself.  As a general rule, don’t give out your Social Security number online — to anyone. No legitimate retailer needs this number.
Finally, be aware that not all attempts at stealing your personal information will come online. When you’re out shopping at old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar stores, consider bringing just one credit card with you — and protect that card from prying eyes.
     By following these precautions, you should be able to greatly reduce the risk of being victimized by identity thieves and other miscreants. And the more comfortable you are in doing your holiday shopping, the more you can enjoy the season.
     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This article was written by Edward Jones for use by a local Edward Jones Financial Advisor – Sheila K. Smith, 220 N. Main St., Suite 2, Chiefland. Phone 352-493-4948.

Region’s jobless rate
holds at 4.2 percent

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published Nov. 17, 2017 at 4:07 p.m.
     OCALA –
The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region remained unchanged in October at 4.2 percent, but was 1.8 percentage points lower than the region’s rate of 6.0 percent a year ago.

According to today’s release of the preliminary jobs report by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the region’s labor force shrank over the month by 3,650 to 198,857, and was virtually unchanged compared to October 2016.
     A year ago, the size of the labor force was driven by greater numbers of unemployed and fewer workers. But the region posted strong gains over the year – largely fueled by growth in Ocala/Marion County – in the number of employed, which is 3,726 at 190,537, along with a drop by 3,691 to 8,320 in the number of those out of work.
     “There is something to chew on in this report this Thanksgiving,” said Kathleen Woodring, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president.
     Woodring noted that the Ocala metropolitan statistical area did serve up “an extra helping” of nonfarm job growth over the year. Nonagricultural employment in October was 104,000, up 2,100 or 2.1 percent compared to October 2016.
     Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous month; followed by Marion County at 4.0 percent, also down 0.1 percent. Citrus County’s rate held at 4.9 percent.
     The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Florida was 3.6 percent, down 0.1 percent; and the national rate was 3.9 percent, down 0.2 percentage points.
     DEO’s preliminary data for the area’s three counties shows that in October, Citrus County's labor force contracted by 1,106 over the month to 46,822, the number of employed decreased by 1,038 to 44,543 and the number of those without jobs fell by 68 to 2,279. That is 925 fewer unemployed compared to October 2016 when the jobless rate was 6.7 percent.
     Levy County's labor force shrank by 208 to 16,915, the number of employed dropped by 184 to 16,310 and the number of unemployed dropped by 24 to 605. That’s 275 fewer unemployed than a year ago when the jobless rate was 5.2 percent.
     Marion County saw its labor force shrink by 2,226 to 135,120, the number of employed decreased by 2,161 to 129,684 and the number of jobless fell by 175 to 5,436. Compared to October 2016 when the jobless rate was 5.9 percent, the labor force has grown by 1,099, the number of employed increased by 3,590 and the number of unemployed dropped by 2,491.
     Among the counties, Citrus County continued its hold on the fourth highest unemployment rate; Marion County was 13th highest, tied with Dixie, Holmes, Polk and DeSoto counties;  and Levy County tied with seven other counties for the 26th highest rate. 
     The Homosassa Springs metropolitan statistical area (Citrus County) maintained its ranking as the highest unemployment rate among Florida’s metros while the Ocala MSA continued to hold the sixth highest rate. 
     In the Ocala MSA, industries gaining jobs over the year were education and health services (+800 jobs); mining, logging and construction (+400 jobs); manufacturing (+300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (+200 jobs); professional and business services (+200 jobs); other services (+200 jobs); and government (+100 jobs).
     Industries that grew faster in the metro area than statewide, were “other services” (+6.5 percent), education and health services (+4.3 percent), and manufacturing (+3.8 percent).
     The information industry lost 100 jobs over the year, and financial activities and leisure and hospitality industries were unchanged.
     Nonfarm employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,000, a decrease of 400 jobs over the year.
     The November employment report is scheduled to be released on Friday, Dec. 22.

Tri-County Area Farm Service Agency is accepting Emergency Conservation Program applications
Published Nov. 14, 2017 at 10:37 a.m.
     TRENTON --
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Brandy S. VanAernam announced via a press release on Nov. 14 that Gilchrist, Dixie and Levy counties are approved to accept applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from Hurricane Irma.

     ECP signup began on Nov. 6 and end on Jan. 6, 2018.
     Approved ECP practices under this authorization include removing debris from farmland; grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland; restoring permanent fences; and restoring conservation structures and other similar installations, she said.
     ECP is administered by FSA to assist producers with the cost of recovery activities required to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions. Producers who sustained damage from this disaster event are encouraged to submit their request for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work.
     Submitting a request after completing qualified reconstructive work may result in forfeiture of program eligibility.
     “I realize that there are extenuating circumstances that must be addressed for livestock safety and health reasons, but I strongly recommend at least calling our office before any action is taken,” VanAernam said.
     FSA county committees will complete an evaluation of submitted requests and obligate available funds based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the eligible damage. Completion of the on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be allocated.
     The use of obligated funds is limited to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of completing the approved restoration activity.
     For more information on ECP, please contact the Gilchrist Dixie Levy County FSA office at 352-658-4057.

New RV park set
to be outside of Williston;

Air ambulance group targets
Levy County for
future headquarters and launch area

The four members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners present on Tuesday (Nov. 7) are (from left) Matt Brooks, John Meeks, Lilly Rooks and Mike Joyner. Rock Meeks was absent.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 11 2017 at 1:27 p.m.
     BRONSON –
A developer is seeking to create a new recreational vehicle park near the Levy-Marion County line; and a medical helicopter transportation company continues working to have a headquarters and launch site in Levy County, according to information shared Tuesday morning (Nov. 7) at the Levy County Commission meeting.

Clay Sweger iof EDA Engineering, representing Jose Martin Morales the owner planning to develop the RV park between Williston and the Marion County line, tells the County Commission reasons to approve a rezoning request. Owner Morales later took the podium and said he is providing more places for RV owners to locate their vehicles beyond the resort that is in the city limits of Williston. That RV park in the city limits is owned by a different group.

     The RV park plan is progressing.
     On a motion by County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, seconded by Commissioner Matt Brooks, the County Commission voted 4-0 to approve a request to amend the Levy County Future Land Use Map from Urban Low Density Residential to Commercial on approximately 62 acres on U.S. Highway 27 south of Northeast 25th Street in the Williston Municipal Service District of the unincorporated eastern part of Levy County.
     Levy County Planning Department Director Shenley Neely was given permission to transmit a petition to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for its review. In the past, there was a different state agency to help manage growth in Florida.

PHI Air Medical of Florida Regional Director C. Sean O'Neal prepares for his presentation. This company has 85 helicopters for air medical service and it has 100 used in the oil and gas industry, O'Neal said.

     As for the air ambulance service, PHI Air Medical of Florida is seeking to create a headquarters on the Levy County Public Safety compound near Bronson.
     PHI Air Medical of Florida Regional Director C. Sean O’Neal gave a presentation to the County Commission to show the company’s plan.
     Public Safety Director Mitch Harrell said this plan has been in the works since before he accepted the duty of leading public safety.
     The County Commission voted 4-0 to approve the company’s request for a certification of public convenience and necessity.
     PHI writes off tens of millions of dollars in unpaid bills annually, O’Neal said, because there is a gap between what insurance, Medicare and patients can pay for the service.
     “It’s not our intent to ever inflict more harm to the patient than has been done in the trauma or the medical situation that put them in our care,” O’Neal said.
     There is a fee for the service, he added, and the company does recover those funds. He sees this air ambulance service, though, as the most compassionate in regard to billing patients for the transportation that saves lives.
     When he was asked if PHI Air Medical of Florida would be able to land at hospitals in Alachua and Marion counties, O’Neal said there would be no reason for any hospital to deny acceptance of a patient via that form of transport.

Dr. Charles Hwang says hospitals in Florida must allow helicopters to deliver patients if they have a helicopter pad for incoming patients. Sitting behind the medical director of Levy County are (from left) Matt Weldon, director of Mosquito Control, and Parks and Recreation; Levy County Property Appraiser Oz Barker; and Solid Waste Department Director Rod Hastings. Weldon received approval for a contract award to C&M Dredging to improve the shoring around Blue Springs. In his Mosquito Control director role, Weldon received approval from the County Commission for the annual contract with the State of Florida. Director Hastings received approval to accept a quote from a company in regard to a very old former landfill in the Inglis-Yankeetown area. The monitoring well that is being abandoned cost the county $5,700 last year; and now it can be capped and closed.

     Charles Hwang, M.D., the medical director of Levy County Department of Public safety said he concurs with O’Neal in that regard.
     Dr. Hwang works in the emergency room at Shands in Gainesville, as well as serving as the county’s medical director.
     Dr. Jason Jones also serves as the Medical Director of Levy County EMS and as Associate Medical Director of Lake County EMS. Dr. Jones was not present at the meeting on Tuesday in Bronson.
     Currently, ShandsCair is seen as the brand of air medical service helicopter landing in Levy County now.
     Dr. Hwang said he is not going to allow the increased ability for air medical service to increase costs to Levy County patients.
     LCDPS Director Harrell said he is not changing protocol for Levy County EMS.
     “What it does do,” Harrell said, “is to provide us with these resources – closer (than out of Gainesville). We are still going to fly the same kind of patients.
     “The number might increase,” Harrell continued.
     He gave the example of a critical traumatic crash victim at the intersection of State Road 26 and U.S. Alt. 27 in Bronson. A helicopter could launch from the LCDPS complex and land in a vacant lot at that very intersection (across the street from Bronson Ace Hardware).
     That patient could be loaded and at a hospital equipped .o care for the person more quickly than if they were taken by ground transport. Harrell said, and with the time of flight from Gainesville to Bronson, the quicker helicopter then would be PHI Air Medical versus ShandsCair.
     There will be an increased number of flights, Harrell said, because of the condition of the patient and the choice to transport the person with the most appropriate method based on time and injuries.
     “We don’t fly non-critical patients,” Harrell said. “We fly critical patients. These are life and death situations where time matters. Time is (less loss of) muscle. Time is tissue – for strokes, for heart attacks; getting them to surgery for traumatic injuries.”

The yellow area on this map shows the planned service area for the future air ambulance service if it becomes based at the Levy County Public Safety complex near Bronson.


CareerSource CLM welcomes
Community Action Agency
to Ocala center

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published Nov. 8, 2017 at 3:17 p.m.
     OCALA --
The Marion County office of the Central Florida Community Action Agency has found a new home at      CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion’s Ocala career center.

     The community action agency, previously located on Northeast Second Street, reopens Monday, Nov. 13 at the CareerSource CLM center at 2703 NE 14th St. The agency, which serves residents in Marion, Levy and Alachua counties, provides energy assistance and other programs for low-income families, particularly the elderly and disabled.
     Kathleen Woodring, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president, said that adding the community action agency to the career center was a perfect fit.
     “More partners equals more services for our customers,” Woodring said. “Many of our customers are served by both agencies, so being in one center will make accessing those services easier for the customers and will add another tool into our toolbox.” 
     Those interested in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) should call 844-356-8136, send all other inquiries to info@cfcaa.org.
     Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CareerSource CLM offices are closed Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day.

Picnic Street project
moves forward

The Bronson Town Council, comprised of (from left) Councilman Robert Partin, Councilwoman Katie Parks, Mayor Bruce Greenlee, Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts and Councilman Jason Hunt, all voted in favor of moving forward with the Picnic Street project.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 8, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.
     BRONSON --
The Picnic Street project in Bronson is moving forward.

     At the Monday night (Nov. 6) meeting, the Bronson Town Council voted 5-0 to approve the Mittauer Engineering plan.
     This $375,000 project is funded by the Florida Department of Transportation through its Small County Outreach Program, which can outreach into small municipalities.
     The project will pave the street and add sidewalks from Hathaway Avenue to the James H. Cobb Park, which is also known as the Bronson Sports Complex. The sidewalk is seen as a significant improvement for safety near the park.

     In other action by the Bronson Town Council on Monday night, it:
     * Voted 4-1 to give employees a 3 percent increase in pay retroactive to Oct. 1. Mayor Bruce Green voted against it. He said he had different ideas about pay increases to employees -- so he voted against this one, which was from a motion by Councilwoman Katie Parks, seconded by Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts.
     * Voted 5-0 to give the annual $250 Christmas bonus to full-time employees in the pay period before Black Friday, so workers could use that money on sale items if they wanted.
     * Changed Town Worker Glen Smith's title to be water and sewer technician, and increased his hourly pay by $1.27 per hour to be $14. After he earns certification in this field, the Town Council said it will consider another increase in pay.

WLQH changes
frequency and format

By John Elliott, President of Suncoast Radio Inc.
Published Nov. 8, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.
Many local residents woke up Monday morning (Nov. 6) to a silent clock radio, or perhaps static on your car radio during the morning commute.

     Over the weekend, engineers and programmers at local radio station WLQH completed some changes that have been in the works for several months.
     First, WLQH-FM that signed on in 2013 has been plagued by interference from a distant, but high power station in Callahan for some time. Mostly this affected listeners out in the fringe of our coverage area, but sometimes when the atmospheric conditions were just right, it would also degrade our signal in Chiefland. In July we petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for relief and they granted us permission to move from 93.3 mHz down to 93.1 mHz. Saturday night we took the station off the air, made the necessary adjustments, and returned to the air on 93.1 at approximately 6pm.
     Driving around the area on Sunday, confirmed much better reception out in Gilchrist County with good reception being reported in Newberry and one report of being heard in Gainesville! So if you are looking for your favorite local radio station please take a moment to change the presets on your FM radios down one click to 93.1 mHz.
     WLQH-AM was not affected during this technical change and still serves Levy County on 940 kHz where it signed on in 1968. However, programming on WLQH has changed several times in the past decades. When Suncoast Radio purchased WLQH-AM in 2010 the music changed from “easy listening” to “oldies”.
     Even the rock and roll oldies format has been “tweaked” a couple of times over the years, most recently as “Classic Hits.” But under the original ownership of the White family WLQH was firmly rooted in country music. We are proud to announce that we have changed our oldies from rock and roll to “Country Legends.” Any change in programming is not taken lightly by any radio station and this was definitely the case for WLQH. This has been discussed for several years but the recent sale of FM 101.7 in Trenton to Joy-FM removed the last of the local stations that had played real country oldies, and by that we mean the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Country music fans looking for those great country artists like Patsy Cline and George Jones can now tune to 940 AM and 93.1 FM for “Country Legends”. You will still hear news, local weather, local sports, community announcements, the Gospel Hour on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.
     We are very pleased to add “The Original Country Gold” program every Saturday night from 7 p.m. till midnight with award-winning country music DJ Rowdy Yates. Rowdy will take your requests and even give away a few things each night!
     We hope you will tune in “Country Legends” now heard on 93.1 FM and 940 AM in Chiefland, and also heard on our sister station WZCC 1240 AM in Cross City.

Flea Market Hover Over

This narrated three-minute hover-over at the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market in Chiefland on Saturday (Nov. 7) shows one part of an extensive outdoor set of vendors. Under the roof of the flea market, there are scores of vendors too. At the end of the video, aerial system operator Jeff M. Hardison and Sonny Griffeth, who owns the flea market with his wife Lydia are seen looking up at the flying camera, which is also known as a drone or a quadcopter and is nicknamed The Dragonfly (although it is really a 2017 DJI Mavic).

Video By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 7, 2017 at 7:17 a.m.


BMHS hosts Annual
College and Career Day

Ryan Watson, representing Central Florida Electric Cooperative, shows some equipment that is utilized to keep linemen safe as the co-op provides safe and reliable electric service to its members. Watson mentioned that the clothes are fireproof because a phase to ground arc flash can generate molten copper and aluminum wire that is 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. He showed the students helmets and masks to protect workers' heads and faces, as well as gloves that can withstand high voltage electricity. Linemen check their equipment daily to assure that it meets safety standards.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 4, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Various businesses, military groups, colleges and government interests sent representatives to Bronson Middle High School on Friday (Nov. 3) to give students information for the young people to consider as they think about what to do after high school.

     The event -- the Annual BMHS Career and College Day -- marks more than the 10th consecutive year when this has unfolded at BMHS. Some students found representatives who are involved in what they might think of as a dream job now, but if they work toward it that dream can become a reality.
     Sherry Tindale, a secretary in the Levy County District School System office, High School Guidance Counselor Tina Wilkerson and Middle School Guidance Counselor Heather Nemeth are three of the adult leaders who helped bring everything together.
     Eight student helpers were extremely conscientious in assuring that all of the participating interests had their food, beverage and logistical needs met. Those students were Student Government Association Vice President Alyssa Jo Strickland, SGA Secretary Christina Coughlin, and student helpers Christian Alicea, Autumn Boyd, Leslie Fankhouser, Melody Martinez, Caitlin Nickolls and Jarius Thomas.
     All of the middle school and high school students enjoyed the opportunity to visit with people from all types of jobs, as well as to visit with representatives from many institutions of higher education.
     Jesse Baggett of the Levy County Department of Public Safety was in the gymnasium to speak with students. He is also the safety officer on Bronson Fire Rescue. The LCDPS had an ambulance in the parking lot for students to see.
     Kat Davis of the College of Central Florida was at the table on one side of the door leading to the parking lot. The College of Central Florida has a new and active campus in Levy County now. To learn more about CF, click HERE.
     Among the many other colleges and institutions of learning at the event were the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, Marion Technical College and Tulsa Welding School.

Justin Hicks, 18, of Chiefland stands in front of a John Deere 6Y8H Grapple Skidder. Hicks works primarily in the shop for Usher Land and Timber, where he keeps machines like this maintained. He has gone into the planted tree farms for harvesting operations, though, he said. A machine known as a tree feller buncher is what cuts the trees, he said. Then the skidder operator uses the skidder to drag the trees to an area where the log loader puts it on a trailer built to take the logs to a mill. Before going there, he said, the trailer is weighed with its logs on it to assure that it does not have too much weight. There is also a machine at the central office on State Road 345, where the logs can be readjusted for the best weight distribution on the trailer.

Eric Handley (left) and Shawn Gilbert, both foresters with Usher Land and Timber, speak with students about a career in forestry.

Trudi Durgee, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Florida College of Entomology and Nematology, shows a 5-year-old Chilean Rose-Hair Tarantula named Buttercup.

Durgee said there were several students who enjoyed the opportunity to pet the tarantula earlier in the morning, however by this point Buttercup had experienced enough of that. The large hairy spider, which is found chiefly in tropical and subtropical America (this one especially in Chile), gets to eat crickets as a treat for her work that day at BMHS, Durgee said. Durgee mentioned that UF has a Traveling Arthropod Petting Zoo to bring to schools to help young students learn about this type creature and its invertebrate relatives in the large phylum of Arthropoda.

Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones speaks with an interested student about the jobs available in the business of helping people to vote.

Angie Phillips, R.N., and Environment Health Scientist Kyle Bason of the Florida Department of Health’s Levy County Unit stand prepared to share with students all of their knowledge of the rewards from being a professional nurse and from being a professional scientist who studies, tests and researches environmental factors that influence health.

Levy County Sheriff’s Deputy Trish Horne is part of a two-deputy team that is restarting an Explorer Scout program in Levy County at the direction of Levy County Sheriff’s Bobby McCallum. The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is restarting its Law Enforcement Explorer Program. The Explorer program was established in the 1960s as a way to attract young motivated individuals with an interest for a career in Law Enforcement, Corrections or Telecommunications/Dispatch. Through Sheriffs' Explorer Association programs, young adults ages 14 to 21 can be associated with a Sheriff’s Office, train and learn about the profession to determine if it’s the right career track for them. Explorers are introduced and receive training in the basics of law enforcement including, traffic control, report writing and radio procedures. Explorers are also given the opportunity to assist officers in controlled settings, such as parades or athletic events. If you are interested in the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Program, please contact Dep. Trish Horne or Dep. Julie Gironda at 352-486-5111 or come to the first meeting at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, 9150 NE 80th Avenue, Bronson, Florida on Nov. 14, 2017 at 6 p.m.

United States Army Staff Sergeant Shawn Golike (left) and Army Sgt. Regina Upton are recruiters who spoke with students about considering the Army as an option after high school. There were other branches of the military at the event as well

Members of the West Point Society of Tallahassee (Ret.) Army Col. Charles Lawson (left) and (Ret.) Col. Claude Shipley were present to share with students information about the United States Military Academy, which is also known as West Point. The United States Military Academy's mission is to educate, train and inspire cadets so that each one of them graduates as a commissioned leader of character who is committed to the values of duty, honor and country. The USMA at West Point prepares young men and women for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army. These two retired colonels are graduates of West Point.

CF Marketing, Public Relations
projects earn many awards

By CF Marketing and Public Relations
Director Lois Brauckmuller
Published Nov. 4, 2017 at 1:37 p.m.
     OCALA --
College of Central Florida Marketing and Public Relations projects earned numerous awards in state and regional competitions.

     The Marketing and Public Relations Department at the CF earned eight awards in the Association of Florida Colleges Communications and Marketing Commission Awards of Excellence. The awards were presented at the AFC Annual Conference in Palm Harbor Nov. 1.
     • First Place, Annual Report
     • First Place, Brochure (Citrus and Levy brochures)
     • First Place, Single Sheet Flyer (preparing for a health science education)
     • First Place, Video/Electronic Promotion (Career Explorer series)
     • Second Place, Viewbook/Recruitment Piece (international viewbook)
     • Second Place, Redesign (Insider newsletter, from print to digital)
     • Second Place, Poster
     • Second Place, Newsletter – Electronic
      The team earned three awards in the 2017 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Region 3 Medallion Awards competition.
     • Gold Medallion Award, Brochure (Citrus and Levy brochures)
     • Silver Medallion Award, Magazine (Connection, fall 2016)
     • Silver Medallion Award, Viewbook (international viewbook)

People keep daily news
website growth strong;

10-month averages shine in 7th year
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov 1, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.
    THE WORLD --
People around the globe have kept HardisonInk.com growing in traffic during its seventh year of existence, according to two independent automated traffic-registering programs -- Google Analytics and cPanel.

     Jeff Hardison, publisher and owner of HardisonInk.com, said that first he is thankful to God for all things.
     Beyond that, he added, he is thankful for the continued growth, which shows a strong base of loyal readers, viewers and listeners as the daily news website moves forward along its sixth year of existence.
     The averages for traffic measured during the first 10 months of 2017 show the following:
Unique Visitors - 15,280 monthly average
Number Of Visits - 36,541 monthly average
Pages - 120,900 monthly average
Hits -1.19 million monthly average

     “Private and public interests recognize advertising in HardisonInk.com as being the best return on investment for advertising,” Hardison said. “I will continue to offer companies and individuals opportunities to buy advertising in the best daily news website in North Central Florida.”
     The numbers for October 2017 are shown in the graphic below:

     Hardison, a multiple award-winning daily and weekly newspaper writer and editor, and now publisher and daily news outlet owner, said he is pleased to see more individuals visiting the site.
     The national advertisements will remain on the bottom of the pages, he said, because local advertisers are better served by being on the right side of the pages and in the body of the pages. The ads for four local Chambers of Commerce are at the bottom of the Community Page.
     Following are the figures from the two independent robotic programs -- Google Analytics and cPanel  -- for October of 2017.

     The first gauge reflects Unique Visitors.
     Webopedia.com 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.
October 2017 – 15,087

     The number of visits is as it says. This is the number of times that these visitors came to pages.
October 2017 – 31,188

     Pages Viewed shows how many different pages the visitors looked at. This website has the Home Page, Police Page, Calendar Page, Business Page, Community Page, Life Page and the Leisure Page.
October 2017 – 113,552

     What is a “hit?” When a viewer looks at a page, there are elements on the page that register a “hit.” For instance, if there are four pictures on a page, then that may equal four “hits.” Like all of the gauges, this is a measure of traffic.
October 2017 – 1,156,163 (a million-plus hits)

     “These figures mean there are more people each day who use HardisonInk.com as a source for information,” Hardison said. “And they return daily. If your product or service is better than the competitors’ products and services, then you will have better odds of being the manufacturer, farmer or service provider of first choice in any market.”
     HardisonInk.com continues to grow in readers, viewers and listeners (yes, the videos have sound). More and more business owners and other individuals see this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news.
     This website is the best medium in this market to advertise, too.
     HardisonInk.com has the Weather Bug on the Home Page for all current weather and forecasting needs, including radar and Weather Alerts. It has columns for quilt reports, Christian devotionals and more.
     HardisonInk.com provides state news on the BUSINESS PAGE and other pages on occasion when it is merited.
     "I can't say enough about my wife Sharon Hardison," Jeff Hardison said. "She does so much for me it is incredible. Look at our archive page. Go to any of the seven pages and find the ad for the archive page and click on it.
     "A new window will open." he continued. "Just go to the month you want and scroll down. If you see a link that looks interesting, click on it. We also have a direct link to videos that have been published. Just go to the area on the page that says CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS ON YouTube.com (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-O1OVdPjyfjI_PuqYrlY7Q) and click on it. If you see any video you want to watch, click on it.
     HardisonInk.com is visible for free to anyone who can see pages on the Internet. Therefore, people all over the world – and in the space station – can view it.
     This site is subscription-free entirely because of our sponsors. Not only do advertisers help the people in the world (and astronauts in space) see Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, but those business interests enjoy the most exposure for the least dollars.
     "We don't put up winky-blinky ads or pop-ups in our local ads," Hardison said. "Our local ads don't move around by the minute. And I promote our local advertisers in other places in addition to HardisonInk.com."
      HardisonInk.com is the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, as well as everywhere else on the globe.

TUESDAY  Nov. 21  7:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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