Annual Spring Career Fairs:

2 days, 2 counties,
lots of opportunities;

Events set for April 3 & 5
By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published March 14, 2018 at 3:18 p.m.
     OCALA –
Employment opportunities will be in full bloom next month during a pair of Spring Career Fairs hosted by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

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     The annual career fairs will take place in Citrus County on Tuesday, April 3 at the College of Central Florida’s Learning and Conference Center in Lecanto and on Thursday, April 5 at CF’s Klein Conference Center in Ocala. Both will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.
     Registration is not required but participants are encouraged to register with While there is no charge to attend the career fairs, appropriate dress is required.
     Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource CLM’s business services officer, said the career fairs provide “fast, efficient and effective” recruiting options for businesses with jobs to fill and for candidates who want to fill them.
     “Holding these career fairs on two days and in two locations offers lots of opportunities for the broadest array of area candidates and businesses,” she said. “It also provides those interested the flexibility to attend one or both career fairs.”
     Chrisman said that to date businesses planning to participate include E-One, Home Instead Senior Care, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, Citrus County Fire/Rescue, Citrus County Clerk of the Court, Ocala Health and Rehabilitation, R+L Global Logistics, Visiting Angels and the YMCA of Citrus County.
     Area businesses interested in taking part should call the Business Services Team at 352-873-7955, ext. 1713.
     Free career fair preparation assistance is available for candidates at CareerSource CLM career centers. For more information, visit Career Fairs at or call 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1790.


SRWMD Governing Board
appoints Johns as chairwoman

(from left) Gary Jones, Charles Keith, Virginia Johns, Don Quincey Jr., Richard Schwab, Alphonas Alexander are the members of the SRWMD Governing Board.

Story and Photo
By Katelyn C. Potter
Communications Director
Suwannee River Water Management District
Published March 13, 2018 at 4:18 p.m.
     LIVE OAK --
The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board voted to appoint Virginia Johns as the new District Governing Board chairwoman at Tuesday’s (March 13) board meeting.
     Johns, a resident of Alachua County, replaces Don Quincey Jr. who served as chairman for nine years.
     Johns has served on the board since March 2012 after being appointed by Gov. Rick Scott.
     “I am very excited to chair this board, and work with the other governing board members and our District staff,” Johns said. “It is one of the best boards I have ever served on and I have some big shoes to fill.”
     The Governing Board welcomes Virginia Johns in her newly appointed role as chairwoman.
     Johns represents the District as an at-large member.
     Before her new role, Johns held the position of Secretary/Treasurer, which was voted to be filled by Richard Schwab, of Taylor County, at Tuesday’s board meeting.
     Johns grew up recreating along the Ichetucknee River and has a great passion for the resource, the District’s mission and its staff.
     “Our staff are truly the heartbeat of the District,” she said. “I look forward to spending more time with them in my role as chairwoman.”
     Johns is a licensed underground and excavation contractor and qualified stormwater inspector. She has been president of John C. Hipp Construction since 1978, and she has a background in agriculture and real estate rentals.
     “The District looks forward to serving and supporting Ms. Johns in her new role as chairwoman,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director for the District. “Ms. Johns is an advocate for our natural resources and a great supporter of the District. We are lucky to have such phenomenal continued leadership at the District.”
     Johns’ term is set to expire in 2021.
     The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.

Area experiences seasonal
uptick in jobless rate;

Ocala MSA posts second fasted
job-growth rate in manufacturing

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published March 12, 2018 at 3:18 p.m.
     OCALA –
The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 5.2 percent in January, up 0.6 percentage points over the month and 0.9 percent lower than the same time last year. Out of an expanded labor force of 197,054, there were 10,217 unemployed, an increase of 1,235 over the month and 1,842 fewer than January 2017.
     Review of the employment numbers, released for the first time in two months by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity following annual benchmarking, shows that unemployment rates rose in all of Florida’s 24 workforce development regions and 22 metropolitan statistical areas. When viewed county-by-county, the jobless rate increased in 64 counties, dipped slightly in two and remained the same in one. 
     “This is a trend we see every January as seasonal employees, hired for the holidays, return to the labor force,” said Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer of CareerSource CLM. “What is important is how we fared over-the-year.”
     Whereas the bump in the number of unemployed over the month fueled January’s expanded labor force, Skinner noted that gains in the number of employed – albeit modest – account for the strengthening labor force over the year. The three-county region has 186,837 employed, or 1,896 more than January 2017.
     Skinner added that spring career fairs planned in April, on-going hiring events for local businesses, and fee-free employment services for any interested candidate are some of the ways CareerSource CLM addresses shifts in the area’s jobless rate.
     Skinner also said that a “significant highlight in the January report” is that the Ocala MSA posted the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all other Florida metro areas in manufacturing at 7.7 percent.
     The January unemployment rates were 6.0 percent for Citrus County, up 0.6 percentage point over the month; 4.4 percent for Levy County, an increase of 0.5 percent; and 5.0 percent for Marion County, up 0.6 percent.
     Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 4.1 percent, an increase of 0.4 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate remained unchanged over the month at 3.9 percent.
     Here's how the preliminary numbers break down for each county in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region:
     ● Citrus County's labor force increased by 402 over the month to 47,378, the number of employed rose by 76 to 44,530 and the number of those without jobs increased by 326 to 2,848. The unemployment rate in January 2017 was 7.0 percent; compared to the same time last year, there are now 457 fewer jobless and 730 more employed.
     ● Levy County's labor force rose by 122 to 16,874, those with jobs increased by 21 to 16,127 and the number of unemployed rose by 101 to 747. That is 136 fewer unemployed and 162 more employed than January 2017 when the county’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.
     ● Marion County's labor force was 132,802, a scant increase of 13 over the month, while the number of employed fell by 795 to 126,802 and those without jobs rose by 808 to 6,622. That reflects a drop of 1,249 jobless over the year and an increase of 1,004 employed compared to January 2017 when the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.
     Citrus County posted the highest unemployment rate among Florida’s counties, Marion County ranked 11th and Levy County was 24th. 
     Among Florida’s metro areas, the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all of Citrus County, had the highest rate followed by The Villages at 5.9 percent. The Ocala/Marion County MSA held the fourth highest unemployment rate.
     In January, nonagricultural employment in the Ocala MSA was 101,900, a gain of 700 jobs over the year. Manufacturing, as previously mentioned at 7.7 percent (+600 jobs); education and health services at 2.7 percent (+500); and government at 0.7 percent (+100 jobs), grew as fast or faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
     Professional and business services added 100 new jobs over the year.
     Industries that lost jobs over the year were trade, transportation and utilities (-200); leisure and hospitality (-200); mining, logging and construction (-100); and financial activities (-100).
     Information and “other services” were unchanged over the year.
     In January 2018, nonfarm payroll employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 32,800, an increase of 100 jobs (+0.3 percent) compared to January 2017.
     February’s unemployment numbers are scheduled to be released on Friday, March 23.

RV owners flock to Chiefland

Barbecue chicken chef Angus Williams (left) and Alan Wallace, one of the owners of Southern Leisure RV Resort, stand next to some of the chickens being cooked for the scores of RV owners who came to claim their spots to rent in the future.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison ©March 11, 2018 at 4:28 p.m.
They drove cars and pickup trucks, but the scores of people who came to a special event on Levy County Road 420 East yesterday (Saturday, March 10) - drawn by a vision - left their RVs for later.

The construction cabin for the future RV resort is in place.

The Dalton Pike Band performs bluegrass and some Gospel music at the event.

This layout shows how there is an entrance to the resort from U.S. Highway 19 between Taco Bell and a parts store.


     Alan Wallace, one of the owners of Southern Leisure RV Resort, was present to lease spaces in the first phase of this development. He and his partners have a vision of creating an RV resort and it is coming to fruition.
     In the first phase of this recreational vehicle resort, there will be 221 sites available.
     The people came to Chiefland on Saturday like they were going to save money by agreeing to rent early-on in the development. The developer has a couple of different types of special deal for people signing contracts early.
     So not only do the first renters get their choice of location, but they are seeing potential savings.
     There are now pins on a site plan, showing the lots already claimed by RV owners who have decided to rent there.
     It’s no wonder the owners came in droves on Saturday to Chiefland. This resort will have a 10,000 square-foot clubhouse with a complete kitchen for big events.
     In addition to the clubhouse, other offerings for people renting spaces to place their RVs at the resort include an Olympic size (40-foot by 23-foot) pool with a 20-by-23-foot area that will “L” off from it for water aerobics.
     A pickleball court, a Bocce ball area, bath and laundry facilities and other amenities are serving as the magnet to draw people to this resort as well.
     On Saturday afternoon, there was free music and food too. It was a festive atmosphere and the perfect environment for sales of rental spaces for RV owners. Southern Leisure RV Resort is off to a great start, even before the first recreational vehicle can park.
     Wallace said he anticipates opening Phase I for occupancy on Jan. 1, 2019, although the way things are rolling along in such a positive manner – it may be sooner.

Easter scramble starts March 18
Win a gift certificate to The Putnam Lodge
Published March 10, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.
     THE WORLD --
The theme of "Let's Keep It Great At 8!" as goes onward through its eighth year is being heralded with the second contest of the year.
     The prize for this contest is a $25 gift certificate for use at The Putnam Lodge of Dixie County.
     To receive a chance to be drawn as the winner, contestants will demonstrate their skill at solving a daily scramble puzzle.
     The contest starts on March 18 and concludes on March 23.
     To see the ad for the contest, check out the ad on the right side of the Leisure Page. The scramble puzzles will be placed below that ad on each of the contest days.
     "Let's Keep It Great At 8" continues with another contest in April. That contest is named The Earth Cat Magic Win Contest.
     There is currently a contest break period of May and June planned.

IAFF Agreement Is Final

Seen above are County Commission Chairman John Meeks and International Association of Firefighters Levy County Local 4069 President Katy Yanok. President Yanok said that today (Friday, March 9), the IAFF Local 4069 and the Levy County Board of County Commissioners ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. President Yanok said the union would like to thank its members, the negotiation team, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, Levy County Department of Public Safety Director Mitch Harrell, Levy County Coordinator Wilbur Dean and the other members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners' staff for working together as a team to make this happen.Published March 9, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided


Time and irrigation
‘Spring Forward’

Published March 8, 2018 at 4:28 p.m.
     LIVE OAK –
On, Sunday, March 11, the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) will spring forward with daylight saving time.
     In addition to the time change, residents and businesses within the District are reminded to shift current lawn and irrigation measures.
     Year-round lawn and landscape irrigation measures are a statewide effort among all five of the water management districts. During daylight saving time residents and commercial properties are permitted to water twice per week.
     Permitted hours of irrigation are between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Watering during any other time is prohibited. Non-residential properties may water on Tuesdays and Fridays. Residential properties having even numbered addresses or addresses ending with letters A-M may water on Thursday and Sunday. Residential properties having odd numbered addresses or addresses ending in with letters N-Z may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
     The District encourages residents and commercial entities to practice Florida Friendly Landscaping methods. Examples of Florida Friendly Landscaping methods include collecting rainwater, reducing storm water runoff and planting Florida native vegetation. Incorporating these and other steps may significantly reduce the need to irrigate.
     For more information on irrigation and Florida Friendly landscaping, visit and look for “Water Conservation” under the “Water Resources” tab.

Dunn fights to keep crayfish
conservation effort at local level

By Shelby Hodgkins
Of Rep. Neal Dunn's Office
Published March 6, 2018 at 2:38 p.m.
In a move to support local efforts in Bay County, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) has urged Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposal to list the Panama City crayfish as Threatened on the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

     Currently, the Panama City crayfish is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule. Dr. Dunn wrote a letter in opposition to the proposed listing for inclusion in the public comments that USFWS has solicited.
     “Working under threat of further litigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hastily proposed a rule that erroneously used survey data on the presence of crayfish at a particular location as a substitute for scientific assessment of population size,” wrote Dr. Dunn. “Among other deficiencies in the USFWS review for the species and proposed rule, the misuse of available data resulted in an inaccurate assessment of population size…”
     In accordance with a 2011 legal settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to produce a listing determination for the Panama City crayfish by December 29, 2017. USFWS is on-schedule to officially list the species by January 2019.
     “I also encourage you to consider more closely the conservation measures Florida has diligently undertaken with regard to the Panama City crayfish, and allow continued management of the species by Floridians under their successful regime rather than by the Federal Government under its failed Endangered Species Act,” added Dr. Dunn.
     Local leaders have expressed concerns about the consequences of this proposed listing on economic development in Bay County. It is also difficult to properly identify the Panama City crayfish because it is one of 11 species of crayfish found in the area. Dr. Dunn will continue to fight to defund the USFWS listing in the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of the Interior funding bill.

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild
raises hopes while raising walls

Published March 1, 2018 at 11:18 p.m.
     OCALA –
Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has been raising the hopes and expectations of at-risk young adults since 2011.

     The popular alternative-education program is getting ready to do so again, along with raising the walls on its seventh home in Marion County.
     The wall raising ceremony takes place Friday, March 16 at 9 a.m. at 8075 Juniper Road in Silver Springs Shores. The YouthBuild is the first to take place in Marion County in three years, it is also the first Phoenix Rising home constructed outside West Ocala.
     Phoenix Rising helps revitalize economically challenged areas of Marion County while making a positive difference in the lives of young adults. The current class of 13 ranges in age from 18 to 23 and includes two women. Most hail from Ocala, but three live in Citra and one in Dunnellon. Several moved from elsewhere in Florida and three came here from Georgia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
     The classmates aspire for careers in construction, criminal justice, manufacturing, the film industry and law. Among them is a future personal trainer, auto mechanic, veterinarian, child abuse counselor, race car driver, lineman and professional boxer (or firefighter).
     Selected only after making it through mental toughness screening, the group has completed a team-building challenge course and has been in the classroom since January working toward earning high school diplomas and industry certifications, as well as developing workforce skills that lead to employment.
     A key feature of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families.
     Spearheaded in 2010 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams and the Ocala Police Department. Phoenix Rising partners include Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, the City of Ocala, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP), Equal Housing Opportunity, Silver River Mentoring & Instruction, College of Central Florida and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development. 
     “We can’t say enough good things about these young people,” said Brian Conard, Eckerd Connects’ area manager. “They have already bonded as a team and are showing an incredible amount of determination and resilience. They are ready to do what it takes to make a difference in their own lives and to help others.”
     Conard said that anyone interested in the program – whether as a future student, program partner or well-wisher – is encouraged to attend the wall raising.
     Major funding for the current initiative comes from an $806,000 grant obtained by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion from the United States Department of Labor The grant is slated to serve 48 participants and help build four Habitat homes through the end of 2019.
     Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public/private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities, Harvard's School of Business, and last spring received Habitat for Humanity International's highest honor, the Clarence E. Jordan Award for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.
      For more information, call 352-291-9550, ext. 2293.

Website sees a million hits again;
Contests coming in March and April
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 1, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
     THE INK PAD --
"Let's Keep It Great At 8" is the theme for as it continues in its eighth year of existence.
     The number of unique visitors looking at stories, photos and videos on were high again in February as the 8-year-old website continues its growth, according to two independent automated traffic-registering programs -- Google Analytics and cPanel.
     There were 14,886 unique visitors in February to, according to these trusted third-party automated measuring devices.
     Jeff Hardison, publisher and owner of, 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 base of loyal readers, viewers and listeners as the daily news website moves ahead.
     Not only is this the best source for daily news, he said, this is also the best platform for advertising because of the traffic to the site.
     “Private and public interests recognize advertising in is the best return on investment for money spent on advertising. This is nice for me to see as well,” Hardison said. “I anticipate making offers to companies and individuals to help their businesses enjoy the benefits of advertising in my daily news website.”
     Hardison, a multiple award-winning daily and weekly newspaper writer and editor, and now publisher and daily news outlet owner, said the national advertisements will remain on the bottom of the pages, 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 currently are at the bottom of the Community Page.
     Following are the figures from two independent robotic programs for February of 2018.
     The first gauge reflects 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.
February 2017 – 14,886
     The number of visits is as it says. This is the number of times that these visitors came to pages.
February 2018 – 29,376
     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.
February 2018 – 113,755
     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.
February 2018 – 1,136,810 (a million-plus hits)
     “These figures mean there are more people each day who use 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.” 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.
     This website is the best medium in this market to advertise, which is proved by annual increased revenue even though the price of ads remains stable since the site’s inception. 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. 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. One thing I need to bring people's attention to is our relatively new 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. The newest addition is a direct link to all of the videos that have been published. Just go to the area on the page that says CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS
     Videos can be viewed ( and click on it. If you see any video you want to watch, click on it.
ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING 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) 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" is the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     Advertisements run in various sizes and can be on one page or all seven pages. Ad contracts run for one year. Ads can be changed monthly. Ads can be hyperlinked to other webpages so that when a person clicks on the ad it opens in another window.
     The annual prices for ads are $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 and there is one $2,000-a-year ad space available on the Community Page.
     Call 352-493-9950 or send an email to to learn more about advertising on the MOST VIEWED daily news website in the world for any form of print, broadcast or Internet-based media covering the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties (and beyond).
     Hardison said he intends to announce the contest for March on March 10.
     “I am very happy about the March Easter Scramble contest,” he said. “And I am especially thrilled to make this as the first announcement of the name for the April contest. It is going to be named The Earth Cat Magic Win Contest.”

Seafood Specialist

Charles 'Grandpa Moe' Beckham shows his delicious smoked mullet dip, smoked mullet and shrimp in these three photos. Seen here late Saturday morning (Feb. 24) while it seems like almost everyone in the world was at the Workout On the Waterfront (WOW) event in Cedar Key that day (because there were no parking places left on the island), Beckham mans his stand adjacent to State Road 24.

While UF/IFAS put the WOW in fundraising for marine research, Beckham puts the Wow in the seafood he sells. Beckham turns 84 years old on March 4.

His life in the world of seafood from Cedar Key is noteworthy as he continues to be working on the waterfront. He first started fishing 72 years ago at the age of 12. He was a commercial fisherman based out of Cedar Key for many decades until the State of Florida imposed what became known as 'the Net Ban of 1995 (and beyond).' That is the year he started his seafood business, which continues today -- about 23 years later.

Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 26, 2018 at 5:28 a.m.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
opens uptown Chiefland office

(from left) Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik, Chiefland Chamber of Commerce Board Member Dr. Bennitt Patterson and Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, provide a photo opportunity as requested. Moments before this picture was taken the men had greeted each other by shaking hands. When asked to again shake hands, the gentlemen agreed. Hence, a relatively different greeting is captured for posterity as the three men shook hands simultaneously.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 23, 2018 at 2:38 p.m.
Some leaders of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion came to Chiefland to celebrate the opening of the new uptown Chiefland office with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday (Feb. 22).

In the still photo and the video below, the ribbon is cut on the new CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion office.

Refreshments were available for guests.

Some of the computer stations where employers and potential employees can connect with each other are seen here. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion can help employers meet training needs for existing employees as well as to attract new workers to jobs.

Part of the lab area, where people can compose a résumé with more privacy than in the main area. There are usually four staff members available to help employers and job seekers.

A large conference room is available.

     Kathy Judkins, who chairs the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion board of directors, is the person who cut the ceremonial ribbon. Judkins is also the deputy director of civic, charitable and government affairs for Sumter Electric Cooperative.
     Thomas “Rusty” Skinner, chief executive officer of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, was present and answered questions with extensive detail. Skinner mentioned that CareerSource keeps in communication with the various economic development interests to help connect employers with workers.
     Of course, Cindy LeCouris, career center manager for the office was on hand, and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion Communications Manager Laura Byrnes was present to help any journalists who did not attend the event.
     Before cutting the ribbon at noon, which was provided by the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce, there were tours of the new facility.
     CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is located in the Walmart Supercenter plaza (Suwanee Plaza) off North Young Boulevard (U.S. Highway 19) in Chiefland. It is in uptown Chiefland now, where it had once been located in the Old Post Office in downtown Chiefland.
     CEO Skinner said the new location is an improvement. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is going to focus more on working with the school district in the three counties.
     CareerSource Florida is a network of 24 workforce development areas. CareerSource is a business-led nonprofit that connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and career seekers with employment and career development opportunities.
     Skinner mentioned that at the end of the day on Thursday, four students would receive two Chromebooks, one Echo and one Echo Dot through a random drawing of the résumés they submitted.
     The new facility has 18 computer work stations in the front. There are three offices, three cubicles, a conference room and a lab.
     Skinner said this CareerSource has been working in the three counties to help connect graduating high school students with employers.
     By providing methods for the students to earn certification in welding, forklift driving and other skills that employers need, this CareerSource is helping to provide employers with the workforce they want. Duke Energy has been very supportive as a partner in this program, Skinner said.
     The College of Central Florida is also a strong partner in helping people obtain skills or increase their talent level in the workforce, Skinner said. For instance, a person involved in the health profession as a nurse may earn credits to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse and then continue his or her education to earn other standing.
     Individuals seeking to earn their Commercial Driver License (CDL) are finding this vocation is rewarding. There are limits to that, however, Skinner said. For instance, a person must be at least 21 years old to have a CDL. Some insurance companies will not cover a CDL driver until he or she is at least 24 years old.
     As for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, this is the single best source for matching workers with places to work.
     The new location of this asset is excellent. As many Realtors know, sometimes the key is “location, location, location.”
     CareerSource CLM is the local, business-led nonprofit organization that offers fee-free services connecting businesses with qualified, skilled talent and candidates with employment and career development opportunities.  Last fiscal year, CareerSource CLM provided services to 26,000 candidates throughout the three-county area and nearly 1,800 businesses.
     The Levy County Career Center is open Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     For more information, call 352-249-3278 or 800-434-JOBS or visit

Burger King is being rebuilt

This photo shows a view of the Burger King sign, and behind it the Taco Bell sign and the Comfort Inn sign. These business interests are across the street more or less from Murphy Express and Winn-Dixie on U.S. Highway 19.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 22, 2018 at 7:08p.m.
BDH Contracting of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is building the next Burger King in Chiefland, Construction Superintendent Allie Huber said.
     Her father Bradley Dean Huber founded the construction company.


Construction Superintendent Allie Huber of BDH Contracting stands in the footprint of the past and future Burger King of Chiefland. The Capital City Bank sign is seen behind her.

    On Thursday afternoon (Feb. 22), Superintendent Huber intimated that the new Burger King will be of the latest design from the franchise, which is famous for – among other things – its flame-broiled Whopper. Construction currently is anticipated to be completed within a couple of months.
     The building was leveled within a day or two.

Publisher invites candidates
to buy political ads;

Price is $200 a month
Two-month minimum

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 17, 2018 at 10:07 p.m.
Updated March 10, 2018 at 8:48 a.m.
     THE WORLD –
While 2018 is not a Presidential Election Year, it is a Midterm Election Year.

     Candidates in municipal, county, district, state and national elections are well served if they buy an ad in
     While there is an option to buy a yearlong ad, like normal business interests, politicians can buy short-term advertisement runs.
     Here is the deal for all political ads this year - the ad will be 300 pixels wide by 599 pixels long. The ad will run on all seven pages. The ad will run for $200 a month. For the candidates who would have acted in January or February there was a one-month availability. In March, it turned to a two-month minimum.
     There are no ad runs of any kind that are less than one month in the daily online news website. can publish a month-long “Thank you” ad, and for the elected or reelected candidate running a yearlong ad, will let that candidate add a public service ad or update ad on the state of the district, or county, etc.
     Ad rates for politicians who buy yearlong ads are the same as for business interests that buy yearlong ads. Those ads cost $900 less on the per-year basis in contrast with the monthly cost.
     Here is another unique offer this year. If no business or person buys the $2,000-a-year ad on the Leisure Page (the last prominent ad available on any of the seven pages), then will sell that space to a candidate in any race (including for governor) for $500 for two months and for $250 for each month after that.
     The monthly averages recorded by Google Analytics and cPanel (third-party robotic measuring programs) for during the 12 months of 2017 in four categories are shown below:
Unique Visitors   15,552
Number of Visits   36,179
Pages   120,336
Hits   1.2 million

     Consider that there are more than 15,000 unique visitors in contrast with fewer than 5,000 subscribers in the weekly newspapers. More than one million hits a month is among the significant numbers to consider when thinking about advertising in this daily news website.
     Beyond the benefit to a campaign by capturing the market with the most traffic, there is the altruistic and American patriotic ideal too -- that by buying an ad in, the candidate is helping the people of the world by helping a free press serve a free country.
     Candidates are advised to buy sooner rather than later, because ads are placed by size and chronology of payment accepted.
     For more information, or to purchase an ad on, call 352-493-9950 or send an email to

MONDAY  MARCH 19  6:38 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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