Health Department urges
Floridians to be vaccinated
against the flu

Information Shared by Wesley Asbell
Of the Florida Department of Health
Published Oct. 17, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.
The Florida Department of Health in Levy County encourages all Floridians to keep vaccine between them and disease by getting a flu shot ahead of the 2017 flu season.


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     Floridians should get the flu vaccine to protect against infection and help prevent the spread of seasonal flu to others. It has never been easier, and it’s never too late to get your flu shot!
     The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get injectable flu shots. Nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for this flu season due to concerns regarding its effectiveness.
     It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.
     Receiving your flu vaccination if you are healthy helps to prevent illness in our most vulnerable populations. People at higher risk for flu-related complications include children ages newborn to 5 years old, adults older than 65 years old, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions such as asthma.
     Check with your physician or use the Flu Shot Locator to schedule your flu vaccine.
     Visit for more information on how you can be a part of #FluFreeFL

Cross City Train Depot
fundraiser succeeds

Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Citizen On Patrol Don Kofahl directs traffic at the start of the festival. Several other DCSO COP members volunteered to help keep pedestrians and motorists safe.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 15, 2017 at 11:07 a.m.
What may become an annual event kicked off on Saturday (Oct. 14) in downtown Cross City as a fundraiser to help restore the Cross City Train Depot.
     Ruth Ann Lovelace, Bev Pivacek, and other members of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce initiated the festival.

People walk along Northeast 210th Avenue in Cross City westbound near one end of the downtown festival.

Ed Pivacek opens a package as he prepares to place bratwursts in boiling hot water.

One of the few moments when there was not a crowd of people passing in front of Thompson’s on Saturday provided a photo opportunity of the structure recently purchased by the Pivaceks. The couple owns and operates The Putnam Lodge, which is another historic structure in the area.

Jess Hall is selling Southern Fried Pork Skins. Hall said he found this festival to be successful. He said the annual event at Cross City Airport is another great place for him as a vendor of this treat.

Dara Fowler, financial specialist with the Cross City office of UF Health, mans a booth at the festival. She shared information about this facility with visitors.

     Ed and Bev Pivacek were in the midst of the fun at the Thompson’s store they bought and are restoring. Ed has built a wooden outdoor deck, cleared out lots of stuff that was inside.
     The Pivaceks were hosting a beer and brats-themed part of the festival. Bev said Cross City’s leaders gave them the go-ahead for this aspect of the festival, because they are known to be good stewards and community members.
     While the beer and brats (short for bratwurst) were a blast, this festival stretched down Northeast 210th Avenue from the Dixie County Courthouse, all the way to U.S. Highway 19.
     The Saltwater Cowboys band, comprised of Glenn Bailey on lead guitar, Keith Hancock on bass guitar and John Polskey on drums, with all of them singing, performed on stage to the delight of a big audience.

The Saltwater Cowboys band, comprised of Glenn Bailey on lead guitar, Keith Hancock on bass guitar and John Polskey on drums perform.

Katrina VanAernam of the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition stands ready to help people learn about the value of this organization in the community. Rebecca Fusco was there to help with this mission on Saturday.

Sons of Confederate Veterans (from left) Harvey Resnick, Gary Poore and Ferrell Mikell are joined by a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy - Betty Mikell. They shared information about their groups with visitors at the festival.

Bev Pivacek stands as Ed Pivacek prepares to deliver an order of bratwursts and Coca-Colas to patrons who were inside Thompson’s on Saturday.

Among the many, many various articles for sale were items for tropical fish.

Drama Free Productions had a booth at the festival. This group is performing plays, including Cheating Death on Oct. 21 and 31; Alice in Wonderland on Nov. 2; and The Rented Christmas on Dec. 10 and 16. Seen here are (back row, from left) Scott DeBerry, John Waldrop, and Misti Waldrop and (front row, from left) Audrey DeBerry, Kellie Swails and Andrea Wasson. The group was selling accents to shows as well as accepting donations for a drawing that includes Yeti items as well as food and lodging at restaurants and a lodge. Funding from that ‘raffle’ helps this group of amateur performing artists with this venture.

Mike Michaelis of DMI Insurance stands between two Ford Mustangs in front of the Cross City office of DMI. There is another DMI office in the city of Fanning Springs.

     People in the mood to buy things found art, handmade furniture, knick-knacks, and much more. There were churches, non-profit organizations and other interests vying for festivalgoers’ attention as well.
     As part of this festival, there was also a car show, fan activities for children and food and drink – beyond the brats and beer.
     There are old train depots in Chiefland and Trenton that help those cities’ economy to some degree.
     The one in Chiefland serves as somewhat of a museum, as well as providing an office meeting space for State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22) and his legislative assistants on occasion to meet with constituents one-on-one. There is also a park next to the train depot in Chiefland, and it has become the location for the annual Watermelon Festival and Christmas Festival.
     The one in Trenton has a very big connected platform that provides ample space for use during quilt festivals and Christmas festivals.
     The train depot building in Cross City is currently abandoned.
     All three train depots are adjacent to the Nature Coast Trail, which is part of the Florida State Park System. To see more about the Trail, click HERE.
     As for this inaugural festival in Cross City on Saturday, it appeared to be a resounding success. The Dixie County Chamber of Commerce meets the second Thursday of each month at noon at the Dixie County Public Library. 16328 S.E. U.S. Highway 19 in Cross City. Call 352-498-5572 for more information about the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce.

Fire Board Meets

Seen here are (from left) Fowlers Bluff Volunteer Fire Board President Jay Bushnell, Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks; Ron Bennett, Fowlers Bluff resident; Ted Palfy, FBVFD Board Member at Fowlers Bluff Fire Station.  The Fowlers Bluff Volunteer Fire Board Annual Meeting was held on Saturday Oct. 7 to share items of interest and approve new bylaws. The meeting of Fowlers Bluff residents was followed by a potluck luncheon, including chicken from an area restaurant. Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks was present for the meeting.
Published Oct. 8, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.

Photo and Information Provided by Jay Bushnell


Practice safe and legal
yard debris disposal

By Ludie Bond of the Florida Forest Service
Published Oct. 3, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.
After any natural disaster, debris removal is one of the most immediate recovery tasks. For Florida residents, Hurricane Irma created this work.

     Clearing, removing, and disposing of items such as downed trees, branches, logs, and leaf litter is one of the first steps to recovery.
     As troops of workers with chainsaws and dump-trucks are cleaning up after Hurricane Irma, residents are wondering what they can do to clean up and dispose of their own yard debris. Many residents can clear debris from their own yards, roofs, and gutters, then pile them on the side of the road for pickup. Many may choose to burn piles of dead dry vegetation on their property instead of waiting for it to be hauled away.
     Whether you can burn your yard debris depends on where you live. Check with your local Florida Forest Service office to make sure it is legal to burn yard debris in your area. Yard debris is any vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, and palm fronds. It must fit in an 8-foot diameter pile or a non-combustible container. The fire must be ignited after 9:00am, must be extinguished one hour before sunset, and must be attended at all times.
     Piles greater than 8-feet in diameter will require an authorization from the Florida Forest Service. It is illegal to burn household garbage, including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticides, paint and aerosol containers.
     Burning should take place at least 25 feet from the burner’s house, wildlands, brush, or combustible structures; at least 50 feet away from paved public roads; and at least 150 feet away from other occupied buildings.
     For more information, call 352-395-4950 or click HERE.


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WEDNESDAY  Oct. 18  9:47 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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