Lunch and Learn
program covers addiction;

ForVets announces
Camp Valor project progress

Keynote speaker Darla Jeffries Jackson of Georgia speaks about the power of drugs over an addict’s willpower. Jackson says people should never give up on trying to beat an addiction.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 23, 2017 at 9:27 p.m.
A group of organizations met to collaborate Thursday (Sept. 21) as the individuals in those groups helped the people of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties learn about addiction.



     The Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems, with Lesley Hersey of Gilchrist County; the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition, with Katrina Gross VanAernam, Cale McCall, Rebecca Fusco and Debby Sweem; the Levy County Prevention Coalition, with Robert Wells and Rose Wilder; and the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, with Capt. Sheryl Brown, hosted the event.

Katrina VanAernam (microphone in hand) looks out at the audience near the end of the event as Lesley Hersey stands in the background.

Katrina VanAernam introduces Dan Cavanah and Debbie Destin.

Dan Cavanah explains the four fundamental concepts that form the foundation of Camp Valor.

Debbie Destin hands out brochures from ForVets about the Camp Valor project.

     In addition to those nine people, five dozen other individuals from many different churches and agencies in Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Suwannee, Taylor, Bradford, Union, Alachua, Citrus, Hamilton and other counties came to the event.
     It was held at the Otter Springs Park and Campground, where Dan Cavanah and Debbie Destin helped people learn about the For Vets Lodge in which the meeting was held. Cavanah spoke about the Camp Valor Project as Destin gave out brochures in regard to that mission.
     As she opened the program, Hersey noted that the Lunch And Learn series of programs for agencies and individuals in the Tri-County Area results from the combined efforts of many people who care about the health and well-being of people.
     After a relatively quick introduction of each of the 60 guests at the event, and then an ice-breaker event led by McCall, the keynote speaker took the floor.
     Darla Jeffries Jackson of Georgia was the speaker of the day. Originally from Cross City, she retired from the United States Army.
     Jackson entered the field of helping people cope with addictions after she returned to the United States from the war in Iraq. She saw returning soldiers who dealt with the destruction and death of war who became addicted to alcohol and other drugs upon their return home.
     She decided to learn what to do to become proactive in the lives of returning soldiers.
     With that goal, Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology. She then earned a master’s degree in substance abuse and addictions counseling. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Walden University, a for-profit public benefit corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
     She is very active in her professional field in Georgia, including serving as president of Substance Abuse Systems LLC of Georgia, which provides assessments and treatments for people addicted to alcohol and other drugs.
     Jackson helped the scores of listeners understands misconception about addiction as well as what are now seen as best treatment options. Continuously incarcerating drug addicts, she shared, is not the most efficient use of tax dollars; nor is it the best management practice for the good of everyone in the community.
     Addiction is an illness where the brain is changed. At some point, the addict is driven to obtain whatever drug at any cost.
     They will miss their children’s sports games. They will ignore family, job and social obligations. The drug becomes their single focus.
     Addiction is preventable and treatable, she explained. It can take a lifetime to overcome it and that can be a struggle every day.
     Jackson says to never surrender or abandon hope on any addict. She spoke about a woman who went into rehab 28 times, and went to jail or prison several times as well. It was that 29th visit to rehab, though, when she reached the point to overcome addiction.
     This disease knows no socio-economic boundaries, she said. Military personnel, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, journalists, heads of huge corporations, blue-collar workers, and the beggars who are homeless can all suffer from the very same addictions to alcohol, pain killers, heroin, other opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotics, amphetamines and barbiturates, she explained.
     Addicts lose self-control as the drug affects their brains.
     Jackson provided some stories for people who have not experienced the impact a drug may have on a person.
     She spoke about being on a diet and avoiding sugar. She goes to her Momma’s house and sure enough, Momma has cooked a pecan pie. Sugar is an ingredient.
     Jackson smells the pie. She tells her Momma that she is not going to be eating any pie, because of her choice to refrain from sugar. She will just enjoy the smell of the pie.
     After dinner, the pie is on the table. Well, perhaps it will be OK to just eat one of the pecans off the top of the pie, even though it is coated with a glaze of brown sugar.
     Then, Momma lets her know it might be OK to have a small piece of pie. And the next thing the sugar-avoiding person might experience is going home with the entire remainder of the pie as a take-home gift from Momma.
     She spoke about everyone having their own Coca-Cola bottle.
     The contents of the Coke bottle are in there, she said.
     “It’s sittin’ there on the table,” Jackson said. “Nobody’s bothering it. It’s just doing its own thing.
     “Well,” she continued, “somebody comes along and they shake up that Coke bottle. And all the contents in it start fizzing, and they’re going everywhere. And you open it up, and it comes out everywhere. It’s just a disaster.”
     Jackson used this as a metaphor for a person who is living their life. Everything is going along smooth and steady – well balanced. Their life has an even keel.
     Something happens to shake up the person’s life and the lives of their family members, she said.
     “Then you open up the Coke bottle and it explodes,” she said, “because it has gotten out of hand.”
     People who have become addicted to drugs, Jackson said, do not realize they “are in control of their Coke bottle.”
     Jackson said “Stay away from that pecan pie, and keep control of your Coke bottle.”
     VanAernam wrapped up the anti-drug part of the two-hour meeting.
     She said that when she began working toward the creation of the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition more than six years ago, she heard many people who told her “There are no resources.”
     Over the years, she found there are services and people who care in this part of Florida. She found “a big gap” nevertheless between the resources and the people who need the help offered by those agencies.
     VanAernam sees one mission is to bring the people who need help and the people who can provide assistance together.
     There is a plan now, VanAernam said, to have Jackson help the people of Dixie County to establish “a drug court” with services wrapped around them.
     VanAernam shared with listeners her request to aid in this venture, but not just in Dixie County. Instead, she continued, this effort can begin in the entire Tri-County Area of Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties.
     From her speaking about the vision of putting the people who need help in contact with those who can and will help, VanAernam spoke about another vision. With that, she introduced Cavanah and Destin.
     VanAernam pointed out that the event on Thursday afternoon was the third Lunch and Learn at the ForVets Lodge at Otter Springs Park and Campground.
     The formula for success, she said, it to have people with passion, plans and other resources. That leads to action and then to results, such as the very lodge in which the audience as sat on Thursday.
* ForVets and Camp Valor
     Cavanah spoke about his life. He has been in Gilchrist County for the past 25 years.
     He is currently the town manager for the Town of Bell.
     In late 2011, Cavanah met a man who had a 23-year-old boy who had returned from war missing both legs and an arm. That man was a general contractor who wanted to build a facility to help the severely wounded veterans.
     That man -- USMC Sgt. Michael Nicholson -- expressed four fundamental principles to be a foundation for this transitional living and learning facility for veterans and their families.
     The four fundamental points are rehabilitation, education, enterprise and recreation.
     The plan is to construct this facility on the 636 acres of Otter Springs Park and Campground, Cavanah said, thanks to a 99-year lease provided to ForVets Inc. by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, Cavanah said.
     ForVets will offer adaptive living accommodations, advanced education, specialized therapeutic services, workshop enterprises, vocational and employment services, recreational activities and lifestyle adjustments for veterans and their families.
      ForVets Inc. plans to build a 95,000 square-foot resort style of main lodge that will provide consolidated support and services that require residents to participate in the programs centered on the four fundamental principles that are the foundation to help these severely wounded veterans and their families.
     There will be family cabins as part of the project.
     Cavanah said ForVets plans to break ground on the project in 2017, and construction is anticipated to begin early in 2018.
     To learn more about ForVets Inc. or to make a tax deductible donation to Camp Valor, visit or call 352-463-0800.

Yankeetown City Councilman
Jeff Saint John Takes Oath Of Office

Yankeetown resident Jeff Saint John steps up to fill the vacant Council seat. He will be the liaison for the Planning and Zoning Committee where he has served as a member for the past year. Swearing in Saint John is Yankeetown Administrator Eric Kuykendahl and Vice Mayor Jean Holbrook. Like the other City Council members, Saint John has the vision of making the Yankeetown community a safe, healthy and vibrant community following its tradition of a friendly Natural Florida Town -- whose history is based on being a top fishing, hunting and eco-friendly destination.
Published Sept. 23, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided by Yankeetown Mayor Jack Schofield

Yankeetown starts
curbside recycling

Published Sept. 22, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.
The Town of Yankeetown previously has participated in the Levy County recycling program for many years.
     Over the past year, the recycle trailer has been used as an illegal drop-off center for mattresses, furniture, paint, tires, TVs and basically any debris that people failed to properly dispose of.
     The Yankeetown City Council has voted to go to curbside recycling starting Oct. 1 for garbage customers. Curbside recycling will be offered once a week at an additional cost of $2.02 to all residential garbage users.
     Due to the fact that many garbage users are not here year-round, the city will have storage bins available for pick-up at Town Hall beginning the week of Sept. 25.
     Information on items that are recyclable will be handed out with each bin, along with the pick-up day, which will be Friday.


Shelbi McCall crowned as the
2017 Miss U.S. National Forestry Queen

Shelbi McCall is seen moments after accepting the title at the pageant Sept. 2 in Tifton, Ga.

Information and Photo Provided
Published Sept. 21, 2017 at 8:17 a.m.
     MAYO --
Shelbi McCall of Mayo was recently crowned as the 2017 Miss U.S. National Forestry Queen.

     The pageant was held in Tifton, Ga., on Sept. 2. 
     The pageant was started in 1940 as a way to celebrate the forestry industry and promote wildfire prevention. During her reign, McCall will have the opportunity to travel and promote the forest industry nationally. She will make guest appearances with Smokey Bear.
     Shelbi is the daughter of Sharon McCall and the late Carson McCall. She graduated as valedictorian from Dixie County High School in 2015. She has earned two bachelor’s degrees and is scheduled to complete work to earn her master’s degree in December from Southeastern University.
     McCall plans to begin pursuing a doctorate in the spring of 2018. She is currently employed as an elementary teacher and as a fitness instructor.
     In addition to the many queen awards she accepted over the years, McCall was awarded a $12,000 scholarship from Wesleyan College.

Jimmy Jones honored
for work during Hurricane Irma

Levy County Construction and Maintenance Department Director Jimmy Jones listens to people speak about his high quality of work and his good spirit.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 20, 2017 at 7:37 a.m.
     BRONSON --
Jimmy Jones was recognized for his work during Hurricane Irma in Levy County during the Tuesday morning (Sept. 19) meeting of the Levy County Commission.

     Commissioner Mike Joyner invited Jones to the meeting so that he could tell the audience about what he thought of the director of construction and maintenance of the County Commission.
     Joyner said Jones was active during the hurricane event, and he “never complained” and “never went home.”
     “He went to every place in this county that was havin’ problems and took care of ‘em,” Joyner said. “Jimmy is to me, is a true leader – a colonel, a chief. And he has got his men where they want to be warriors, ‘cause you’ve got a good chief.”
     Commissioner Lilly Rooks agreed with Joyner.
     “He went above and beyond with everything he did,” Rooks said about Jones.
     Rooks said Jones helped her remove all of the shelves, furniture and books from the Cedar Key Public Library before the storm hit. That library had suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Hermine’s storm surge and had to be rebuilt.
     At Levy County Animal Services, Jones helped Rooks to secure and start a generator that was needed there.
     “And he does this with a smile on his face,” Rooks said. “Everything he does, there’s no problem that he can’t find a solution for. And his employees that work under him, are the very same way.”
     Rooks told Jones that she appreciates his work ethic.
     Florida Department of Health Administrator for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ units Barbara Locke, R.N., M.P.H., was in the audience awaiting the renewal of the annual contract with the county.
     She added her commendation for Jones.
     “Jimmy Jones is rock solid,” Locke said, “and there isn’t ever any job that is too big. During the storm, the ALF Good Samaritan needed a generator, so the people could go back there.
     “So I said, ‘I don’t trust anybody but Jimmy to go and make sure that generator is hooked up right,’” she added.
     Locke went on to say that he does every job to the highest level of skill, and he does so with a great attitude.
     “This county is so fortunate to have him in charge of the maintenance department,” Locke said.
     Rooks said that while Jones was taking care of county property, there were two trees that had fallen on his house.
     Chairman John Meeks said Jones’ wife Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones, and their son and the young man’s girlfriend volunteered to work during the hurricane.
     Jimmy Jones accepted the compliments by saying he wa just doing the job he gets paid to do. He stressed that there were many other people doing their jobs at the time as well.
     “It’s great to be recognized,” Jones said. “It is awesome and I appreciate it. There were a lot of unsung heroes out there that were doing it, and aren’t here right now.”
     Jones said Chairman Meeks and County Coordinator Wilbur Dean, and all of the county’s elected officials all did their job as well, as a team.
     “And this is why it’s awesome to be from Levy County,” Jone said, “and to do what we’re doing.”

Domestic Hogs Located

Tom Carter feeds a couple of his domestic hogs Sunday (Sept. 17). These two hogs appear to have found their way out to an open field in Levy County.


After they ate, they appear to have gone down a trail of their choosing.

Photos and Video By Jeff and Sharon Hardison © Sept. 18, 2017 at 12:17 p.m.

Homosassa Game and Fish Club
supports CF student scholarships

(from left) College of Central Florida CF Vice President of Regional Campuses Dr. Vernon Lawter, Connie Vazquez, Cathy Holiday, Butch Adair and CF Foundation Development Director Traci Mason show a large version of the check presented to help CF students.
Story and Photo
By CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller
Published Sept 17, 2017 at 7:37 a.m.
     OCALA --
The Homosassa Game and Fish Club presented a check for $3,292 to the CF Foundation to increase student scholarships.

     The club partnered with the CF Foundation in 2005 to establish an endowed scholarship for CF students from Homosassa and Citrus County.
     The funds presented this year came from the 33rd annual Cobia “Big Fish” tournament held in June 2017. This annual event attracts more than 600 anglers and is considered one of the largest fishing tournaments on the Nature Coast. 
     “We are grateful for the scholarship support we receive annually as a result of the Cobia Big Fish tournament,” said Dr. Vernon Lawter, CF vice president of regional campuses. “The generosity of donors like the Homosassa Game and Fish Club help many students fulfill their dreams of receiving a degree in higher education.”
     The annual tournament is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers who not only wish to provide the Nature Coast with an exciting fishing tournament, but also want to raise funds to assist with various community needs and help local nonprofit organizations. 
     To learn more about the CF Foundation and how to help students, visit

Workers Staging In Chiefland

Scores and scores of workers are coming to Florida to help restore buildings, roads, utility services and other aspects of life that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Here Roger Mulnix, 35, of Alabama and Kyle Velazquez, 24, of Westville rest for a moment on Tuesday morning at a Chiefland motel’s parking lot. These men and 10 others under the direction of Operations Manager Jay Jordan were going south to work in the Inglis area off of Butler Road. They are part of the team of workers who are contractors for Central Florida Electric Cooperative as they perform vegetation management actions. Another crew of 41 linemen scheduled to stay at a Chiefland motel as well as work continues to restore power across Florida.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2017 at 10:57 p.m.


Bronson reschedules
town election

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 7, 2017 at 10:57 a.m.
     BRONSON --
Three candidates and all of the voters in the Town of Bronson are changing their plans for the town election that had been scheduled for Sept. 12.

     Town Clerk Pamela Whitehead announced Thursday (Sept. 7) that the election has been moved to Sept. 26.
     As is usual, this Tuesday election on Sept. 26 will be from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and voters will be using machines at the Dogan S. Cobb Municipal Building, 660 EA. Hathaway Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27), in Bronson.

Central Fla. Electric Cooperative
prepares for Hurricane Irma

By Whitney Feather
CFEC Communications Specialist
Published Sept. 5, 2017 at 5:07 p.m.
As Hurricane Irma continues on its path, Central Florida Electric Cooperative (CFEC) has a prepared group of linemen and service restoration personnel ready to assist as needed. CFEC is also ready to bring in additional contractors or request assistance from neighboring cooperatives outside the area to aid members and the community, if the need arises.

     “We are making necessary preparations and are continuing to conduct meetings with our staff,” said Ben Dawson, CFEC Chief Operating Officer. “We will continue preparing and we urge our members to take the necessary precautions to be ready as well.”
     Members can report power outages by calling 1-352-493-2511 or 1-800-227-1302, visiting the website at or by accessing the mobile app, CFEC Connect. CFEC does not take outage reports through Facebook.
     One of CFEC’s priorities during outage restoration, is to make repairs that restore service to the most people in the least amount of time. Transmission lines and substations are repaired first, followed by main distribution lines that feed neighborhoods; tap lines and individual service lines are then repaired to restore power to members who may still be without electricity.
     Use these tips to prepare for storms:
     • For shelter updates, check with local fire departments and your counties’ emergency management team:
     ▪ Levy - Visit or call emergency management at 352-486-5213
     ▪ Dixie - Visit or call emergency management at 352-498-1231
     ▪ Gilchrist - Visit or call emergency management at 386-935-5400
     ▪ Alachua - Visit or call emergency management at 352-955-1818
     • If someone in your household depends on electricity to operate life support systems, make plans for alternate sources of power or alternate lodging.
     • Determine safe evacuation routes.
     • Have a first aid kit on hand, including prescription medication in adequate supply.
     • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment, and keep extra batteries on-hand.
     • Invest in a battery/solar powered radio and cell phone charger.
     • Stock several gallons of drinking water and nonperishable foods.
     • Fill bathtubs with water to flush toilets.
     If you experience a power outage, please call 1-352-493-2511, visit the website at or access the mobile app, CFEC Connect.

DCFS helps people -
Boot Drive for MDA
brings in $11,000

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 4 at 4:17 p.m.
The men and women of Dixie County Fire Services, which includes volunteers and career firefighters, helped people as the firefighters responded to various calls during the past week of reporting.

     Dixie County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Darian Brown mentioned, too, that the DCFS collected via its Boot Drive for MDA on Sept. 1 in Old Town.
     The goal in the collection effort to help fund the Muscular Dystrophia Association was $8,000.
     Last year Dixie County Fire Services had a goal of $10,000 but due to Hurricane Hermine the DCFS did not get to collect.
     "We were all disappointed (last year) as we collected $8,000 the year before," Chief Brown said. "This year we advertised an $8,000 goal, but everyone was shooting for the $10,000 from last year. They were just reluctant to say it out loud.
     "We started at 7:30 in the morning and by 8:30 we had over $1,000," he continued. "Everyone became hopeful. At 3:30 we had surpassed $8,000. When it was all over our count showed $11,055. We sent it to the bank for the official count. It came up short at $10,952.75. Everyone was disappointed that it was not at least $11,000. By the time they were done adding to the count it is officially $11,000 even that we will be sending to MDA."
     The chief said no person in the department gets any of this money. In fact, members added to it to bring it up to $11,000 even.
     "The money is for a wonderful cause," Chief Brown said.
     Chief Brown noted his thanks to every resident and visitor that donated when they passed through Old TSown during the day in Friday (Sept. 1).
     The chief mentioned that every first responder in Dixie County is watching Hurricane Irma for a possible impact late this week.

     In the most recent set of weekly records provided by Dixie County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Darian on Monday (Sept. 4), firefighters, paramedics and EMTS responded to three motor vehicle crash calls, two electrical hazards, a stalled elevator (Three teenagers in Jena. Elevator restarted), a stove fire, a brush fire, a false structure fire call and they set up a landing zone for a ShandsCair helicopter.

Williston installs
new city councilwoman;

Purchase of
$400,000 fire truck considered

Marguerite Robinson prepares to accept her responsibilities to the people of Williston, of Florida, and of the United States of America, as a member of the Williston City Council.

Marguerite Robinson takes the oath of office to accept her duties as a member of the Williston City Council as her husband Jerry Robinson (center) watches and -- Levy County Judge J.T. ‘Tim’ Browning administers the oath on Tuesday night (Aug. 22).
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 24, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.
Levy County Judge J.T. "Tim" Browning administered the oath of office Tuesday night (Aug. 22) to Williston City Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson.

(from left) Jerry Robinson, Williston City Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson and Levy County Judge Tim Browning pause for a photo opportunity after she took the oath of office on Tuesday night.

     Robinson was accompanied by her husband former City Councilman Jerry Robinson.

     While there was little action, per se, City Council President Charles Goodman, City Council Vice President Nancy Wininger and City Councilman Elihu Ross provided their opinions about guidelines for City Manager Scott Lippmann and City Clerk Fran Taylor.

City Manager Scott Lippmann                   City Clerk Fran Taylor

     Williston City Councilman Kori Lamb was absent from the regular meeting.
     The City Council did approve a Veterans Day Parade to be on Nov. 11 starting at 11 a.m.
     Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat reminded City Council President Goodman that this will result in Williston Police Officers being paid 250 percent their regular pay, due to them working on a holiday (which is also a Saturday).
     President Goodman led the City Council in its choice, however, to recognize Veterans Day to be on Nov. 11.
     Although Veterans Day is not Memorial Day, there was some discussion about an event for a veterans memorial being unveiled that day as well.
     Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on Nov. 11.
     The day is to honor persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.
     Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The United States holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
     Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a public holiday in May.
     Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.
     While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day in calendars and advertisements (spellings that are grammatically acceptable), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling "because it is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans."

Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat (left) and City Council President Charles Goodman prepare before the meeting.

(from left) City Council Vice President Nancy Wininger, City Councilman Elihu Ross and City Manager Scott Lippmann listen to City Council President Charles Goodman explain why he holds a certain opinion.

City Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson looks in the area of Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat (center) and City Council President Charles Goodman during her first meeting on the City Council. The empty seat to her right in the photo is where City Councilman Kori Lamb sits when he is present for meetings.

     Mayor Hethcoat brought to the attention of City Council that the Williston Fire Rescue Department needs to replace a fire engine it lost due to a person crashing into it.
     WFR Lt. Jimmy Willis Jr. told the City Council that Chief Lamar Stegall had found appropriate replacement fire trucks for $405,000 in Bradenton or Fort Myers; for $408,000 in Ocala and another one elsewhere for $412,000.
     Chief Stegall sees Ocala as the best place to buy the truck, Lt. Willis said.
     President Goodman said he would like the mayor and fire chief to return with a method to purchase the trucks, and then present that to the City Council.
     Lt. Willis mentioned there is a USDA Rural Development loan-grant procedure that has begun.
     He also mentioned that if the truck was ordered today, it would take nine months to a year before it can be built and delivered.
     Goodman said he understands the need for a truck. He wants a proposal for the City Council to consider, however, he said, because he cannot see the City Council working as a group to come up with a solution to this issue.
     With no concrete proposal, the City Council cannot give an answer of “Yes” or “No” to a loan, or a grant-loan, or floating a municipal bond or anything else.
     The fire department lieutenant said the Levy County Department of Public Safety and Bronson Fire Rescue are assisting WFR in its time of need, to help the city’s property owners to not see a dramatic increase in property insurance for fire protection, due to the city’s being without enough equipment to keep it at the current rate.

Two out of three
Bronson Town Council
candidates attend meeting

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 23, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Two of the three people seeking to replace Bronson Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson attended the Monday night (Aug. 21) meeting.

     Edith Brown, Robert Partin and Virginia Phillips are the three candidates who qualified to accept the responsibilities of being a member of Bronson Town Council in Seat 1, from whence Edmondson is departing.

Virginia Phillips and Robert Partin

     The election is scheduled to be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 12. Voters are slated to cast ballots in the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building on Hathaway Street (U.S. Alt. 27).
     On Monday night, it was Partin and Phillips in the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building. Brown was not present.
     Partin is a 64-year-old former Bronson Town Council member. He was raised in Bronson as a child, before graduating from Lake City Forestry College in 1974. That college later became named Lake City Community College and is now named Gateway College. Partin worked for paper companies all over Georgia and North Florida.
     Partin returned to Bronson in 1983, and was appointed by the now late Dogan Cobb to be on Bronson Town Council in 1984, where Partin served for several years.
     Phillips is a 35-year-old woman who moved into the town limits five years agao, after moving to Levy County in 2008.

(from left) Bronson Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson, Town Councilwoman Katie Parks, Mayor Bruce Greenlee, Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts and Town Councilman Jason Hunt prepare for the regular twice-a-month meeting.

     There was other Town Council activity Monday night in the Cobb building.
     Mayor Bruce Greenlee said Monday night that he is thankful to the Florida Department of Transportation for the Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) agreement where there is going to be a sidewalk added to go next to Picnic Street to the James H. Cobb Park (Bronson Sports Complex).
     This improvement, Greenlee said, shows that economic growth is possible in Bronson.
     Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Katie Parks, to accept the SCOP agreement. All five Council members voted for it Mayor Greenlee, Vice Mayor Roberts, and Council members Parks, Edmondson and Jason Hunt.
     During Council member reports, Vice Mayor Roberts, Mayor Greenlee and Councilman Hunt all said they are glad to have attended the recent League of Cities Conference where they learned about aspects of municipal government and networked with other people from other towns and cities.
      Mayor Greenlee said he was especially thankful to have sat down at a table with other leaders to think about matters that he might not have considered. Greenlee was impressed and inspired by Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt, whom he saw at the conference.
     "That is one of the most involved people," Greenlee said in reference to Merritt, "not only when it comes to county government, but state government. She is a true asset to anything countywide. She is a true, true asset because she is committed -- totally committed.
     "And I enjoyed just sitting down with her (Mayor Merritt) for a couple of hours," Greenlee continued, "and just sharing some ideas that came from her. They energized me."
     On another matter, the mayor said he had spoken with a person in Williston who mentioned the idea of a countywide celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Greenlee said he thinks this might be spread across a few days in a few cities in Levy County, and it could become a bigger event in contrast with a few vehicles in Williston and a few marchers in Bronson.

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