Yankeetown election
scheduled for Feb. 27;

Qualifying mornings of Dec. 11-15
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 20, 2017 at 3:17 p.m.
The municipality that is the most southwestern in Levy County is scheduled to conduct an election on Feb. 27.



     This election is for two leaders in a five-person set of elected leaders for the Town of Yankeetown. There is also the potential for a referendum that would amend the current town charter.
     The open seats are for mayor and for the Town Council seat currently occupied by Jean Holbrook. The current acting mayor is Jack Schofield.
     These positions are two-year terms.
     Qualifying to run for these two open positions of Yankeetown government is scheduled to happen from 8 a.m. to noon on Dec. 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 at Yankeetown Town Hall, 6241 Harmony Lane, in Yankeetown.
     The election itself is scheduled to be Feb. 27 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the place to cast ballots in that election is the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club building that is located at 22 59th St., in Yankeetown.
     There is a potential ballot question regarding the current town charter that has a potential of being voted upon by the qualified voters of Yankeetown.
     At the Dec. 5 meeting of the Yankeetown Town Council, the current five leaders -- Acting Mayor Jack Schofield and four Town Council members -- Jean Holbrook, Jeff St. John, Jennifer Molzen and Sherri MacDonald will have an opportunity to adopt an ordinance in regard to changing the town charter.
     This will be the second reading for the possible adoption of this ordinance, Yankeetown Deputy Clerk Sharon Mudge said.
    The Ballot Question is tentatively to be named APPOINTED MAYOR.
     The text for the proposed referendum questions to be placed on Feb. 27 election ballot, shows that the voters could amend the charter to provide that there will be five Council members who will annually appoint a mayor from among the five elected Council members.
     Currently there are four Town Council members and one mayor and the mayor is currently elected.
     To place the question on the Feb. 27 ballot, the Town Council on Dec. 5 is conducting its second public hearing on the proposed referendum ballot questions.
     If the question is put on the ballot, and if the voters choose to adopt the amendment, then the Yankeetown charter amendment would provide that there will be five Council members who will annually elect a mayor from among the five Council members. 
      Authority shall be vested in five Council members. A mayor shall be appointed annually from among the council members by majority vote of the Council.
     The mayor shall be president and presiding officer of the Town Council, and shall vote as a member of the Town Council. 
     If this goes on the ballot, the voters can choose either “Yes” or “No.”
      Another amendment to the Town Charter calls for numbering the seats of the Council members for clarity of reference.
     On this “Yes” or “No” vote, the electors can choose to amend the Yankeetown charter amendment so that would provide numbered council seats for ease and clarity of reference, or the voters could leave the Town Council seats as they are now – not numbered.
     The Yankeetown charter amendment would provide that for clarity of reference and for no other reason, those Council seats to be contested in even numbered years shall be referred to as Seat #2 and Seat #4, and those to be contested in odd numbered years shall be referred to as Seat #1, Seat #3, and Seat #5.
     The person who is the town clerk, town treasurer and town administrator is Eric Kuykendall.
     As in all other city or town elections in Levy County, the clerk is the supervisor of elections. This election will not be utilizing the equipment from the Office of Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones; however, Jones will provide supplies the town will need for the election and she is available to Kuykendall for assistance, according to Information Specialist Jordan Lindsey, in the Office of the Levy County Supervisor of Elections.

Offsite signs score
special exception via 4-1 vote

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2017 at 9:27 a.m.
The Chiefland City Commission on Monday night (Nov. 6) approved a multiple offsite sign request that might open the door for other signs to pop up in the city limits.

     Only City Commissioner Teresa Barron opposed the plan by Hal Lyons to post big directional signs via a special exception to the city ordinances regulating signage within the city limits.
     Meeting as the Chiefland Board of Adjustment, the five City Commission members heard and saw Lyons, who is the owner of the proposed recreational vehicle park named Strawberry Fields for RVers, seek a special exception to the city’s signage ordinance.
     This set of two signs stacked one on the other will be two feet off of the ground and it will have face plates that are each four-feet tall by eight-feet across for each of the two signs.
     A special exception is required, because this type of structure would not normally be allowed to be constructed in the city limits.
     This multiple-sign structure is going to be built on the corner of U.S. Highway 129 at the intersection of Northwest 50th Avenue and Northeast Fourth Street, according to information in the application documentation.
     These signs are meant to point people toward the RV park, toward the Harmony Pregnancy Center, according to records.
     Ronald St. John, owner of Chiefland Hardware and Farm Supply, sent a letter to show he is allowing the sign on the store’s property.
     After City Commissioner Rollin Hudson made a motion to approve the special exception to allow a multi-use offsite sign, City Commissioner Donald Lawrence seconded it.
     City Commissioner Barron said she opposes this request for signage that is made by Lyons.
     Barron said this sets a precedent where everybody will be asking for off-site signs now in the city.
     Hudson said he understands her concern, but St. John owns the land.
     “So?” Barron asked.
     She said a person can own a business on one end of town and own property on the other end of town, and then they can put a sign that is not on the property where the business is located.
     “Offsite signs are permitted,” Chiefland Planning Project Coordinator Belinda Wilkerson said, “as long as they are multi-use (and they get a special exception from the Board of Adjustment).”
     Barron said she understood that caveat, but she does not see the need for a sign to direct people to the pregnancy center.
     “I just don’t think it (the pregnancy center) warrants an offsite sign,” Barron said. “If we do this, we are going to have everybody asking for an offsite sign. That’s one thing that the Board (of Adjustment) did when we used to have it (comprised of residents of Chiefland rather than just the City Commission). They put that into place because they didn’t want to have signs all over the city in different locations.”
     Barron said she can see a need for a place like the Chiefland Days Inn and some businesses where an arcade used to exist off of the main roads, in commercial areas like that motel which is to the west of U.S. Highway 19 and to the south of Walmart.
     She can see having a sign directing people from the highway to business locations away from that strip of development along U.S. 19 in north Chiefland. However this proposed RV park is not that far off the road, where passersby would not be able to see it, she said.
     Lyons said the city’s sign ordinance will not even let him have a lit sign on his property. Lyons said the signage for the RV park is not even allowed to be as big as the offsite signs he plans to erect.
     Barron questioned that because MacDonald’s has a big lit sign, Huddle House has a lit sign and several other business interests have lit signs.
     City Manager Ellzey explained that the future proposed RV park site is in a residential zoned area. That is why the signage allowed is not as big as on commercial property, like the land St. John owns (Chiefland Hardware And Farm Supply) where he is allowing the big signs pointing to the pregnancy center and the RV park.
     Mayor Walker called for the vote. It was 4-1 with Barron voting against the special exception to allow the offsite signs for the RV park and for the pregnancy center.

Chamber banquet shows
success and hope

Debra Weiss and her husband Peter C. Weiss show their happiness at being at the Chamber banquet. Peter did not let the need for a short-term bandage on his nose get in the way of providing a photo opportunity. Debra Weiss is a former mayor of Yankeetown.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 11, 2017 at 8:07 p.m.
Keynote speakers Wednesday evening (Nov. 8) let the members and guests at the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet see the success of the past year and hope for the future.
     Perhaps the most immediate success present was the banquet.
     Volunteers worked with Cery Logeman leading the way in the creation of an amazing low country boil. This dish is primarily unshelled shrimp, crab, sausage, corn-on-the-cob, potatoes and other ingredients.

Cery Logeman dishes out more shrimp to a diner who sought seconds. Within a few seconds, that plate was covered with shrimp.

Dr. Richard Streeter holds up a lid to show the low country boil. He was among the helpers in the kitchen. Cery Logeman is the leader of the crew that created the signature dish of the night.

Helen Ciallella holds up a couple of the different pamphlets for promoting the area to visitors. Paddling, biking, birding, fishing, sailing, powerboating, scallop hunting, wildlife hunting and camping are among the activities in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.


     Among the many volunteers in the kitchen was Dr. Richard Streeter, a past president of the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce. A pleasant addition to that key menu item this year was donated by Food Ranch. This top grocery store in Inglis donated pulled pork and fixings to provide barbecue for the non-seafood crowd.
     Actually, there was so much food, all of the diners could have enjoyed seconds and brought some home as well. The selection of dessert offerings alone covered two tables that must have been at least six feet long and three feet wide.
     The banquet was a success.
     Chamber President Marilyn Ladner, a retired provost of the College of Central Florida Levy Campus, was joined by Nature Coast Business Development Executive Director David Pieklik, Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt, County Commission Chairman John Meeks, and Levy County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Carol McQueen to share highlights of the past and projections for the future.

Doug Johnston (left) holds a plaque for his 30 years of Community Service and Larry Henderson holds his plaque for 42 years of Community Service in Inglis, presented by Lauren Winn. These gentlemen are among the workers who served the residents and visitors at the Food Ranch grocery in the Town of Inglis.

     Lauren Winn presented two plaques near the end of the annual banquet for Community Service to Doug Johnston and Larry Henderson. Lisa Hall accepted a plaque on behalf of Scott Levesque for his creation of the best scarecrow.
     Scott’s Automotive Repair won the 2017 Withlacoochee Gulf Area (Inglis-Yankeetown) Chamber Scarecrow Contest. Drummond Community Bank placed second and DAB Constructors Inc. earned third place.

Lisa Hall (left) accepts a plaque on behalf of Scott Levesque of Scott’s Automotive Repair for the Best Scarecrow in the Chamber contest.


Chamber President Marilyn Ladner
     The chamber president served as emcee throughout the meeting.
     She joined the Chamber in 2013. She recognized past and president Chamber leaders.
     Among the highlights for 2017, Ladner mentioned that the South Levy Marketplace has been successful. The Chamber has a new logo, which may be viewed at the website
     There is a plan under way to add a kiosk in front of the Chamber Building, on the north side of Levy County Road 40 to the west of Inglis Town Hall. That kiosk will be working 24-hours-a-day and will be accessible by anyone seeking information about the Inglis-Yankeetown area.
     The plan to fund the electronic kiosk is through money the state is accepting through the RESTORE Act – to pay for damage caused by the big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
     An $18.7 billion settlement was announced in 2015 for all federal, state and local claims against BP that resulted from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which left 11 dead and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
     Ladner said this will be a very attractive addition for the front of the office. It will have devices to reduce the odds of vandalism, she indicated.
     The addition of a permanent display near the Chamber office in regard to the “Follow That Dream” Parkway was mentioned.
     To read about that Elvis event, and to see the video that was displayed during the meeting, click HERE. This is among the archives of
     Ladner intimated from the input she received from many Elvis fans that this could become an annual event to attract visitors to the area.


     Inglis Area Mayor Drinda Merritt spoke about projects that can help the region’s economic base.
     The first was her update on the South Levy Rec Area. There was a need for $30,000 to conduct a feasibility study, she said, and the project is within $5,000 of attaining that goal.
     By the end of the first quarter of 2018, she hopes to see the study completed and then a vendor will be sought. This project includes leasing 27 acres from Levy County, she said.
     Flying disk golf, a zip line, a dog park with a facility for agility competition are among the first offerings planned. Sculling (rowing competition) events on the Cross Florida Barge Canal is another potential in the future as well, she said.
     She sees this addition of a recreation facility to the area as having a $400 million annual economic impact on southern Levy County as a major draw for visitors. This will translate to a positive economic impact for north Citrus County and west Marion County as well, she added.
     There is a bike path connection between Inglis and Dunnellon being sought as well, through a grant from the state to help connect with the state’s Greenways and Parks. She said 50,000 bicycle riders visit the Dunnellon area annually now.
     Her final topic was a wastewater treatment plant that will be to the level that it produces water that can be drank after it is treated. She said potable water is vital to Florida’s future, and this is a type of wastewater treatment plant that will help reduce water loss.

     David Pieklik shared facts about the current population and projected growth in Levy County.
     He spoke about the function of the Nature Coast Business Development Council and its history in the county.

     After being introduced by Past Chamber President Jack Schofield, County Commission Chairman John Meeks spoke about the $650,000 grant from the Florida Legislature to improve the Bird Creek (West Levy County Road 40) Boat Ramp.
     Meeks said State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22) and State Sen. Robert “Rob” Bradley (R-Fleming Island, Dist. 5) are to be thanked for their success in attaining this for Levy County.
     Interestingly, this banquet fell on Chairman Meeks’ birthday and yet he went to help the southernmost Chamber group learn about this project. Accompanying Chairman Meeks was his wife Stephanie Nettles Meeks.
     Chairman Meeks said the people of south Levy County had a change of three County Commission members within six years. As a result, he saw there may not have been a continuation of seeking completion of projects.
     He made it his mission to become even more familiar with the area, because all county commissioners are elected countywide.

In this video, Commission Chairman John Meeks says how he wants people to enjoy nature by using the boat ramp and park that are slated for improvement. The county commission chairman came to the banquet on his birthday.

     The boat ramp and park, he said, is an important destination for people who want to enjoy natural Florida – bikers, hikers, fishermen, boaters, kayakers and others.
     Among the possible improvements are a separate fishing pier, better traffic and parking for boat trailers, and a longer boat ramp with less of an incline.
     Deborah Furrow of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be the project manager, Meeks said.
     This project requires the county to invest first, and then to be reimbursed by FWC, Meeks explained.
     While $650,000 seems like a lot of money, he said, adding that it is a lot of money, these funds will go quickly when it comes to boat ramp park improvements.
     First county staff and others will create a concept for improvements. An engineer will draft a preliminary design.
     Then there will be public hearings for more input from people who use the facility, Meeks said, because sometimes engineers don’t see concepts that are visible to the actual users of a facility.
     Meeks said he hopes to be cutting a ribbon on the improved boat ramp and park in 18 months, although sometimes there can be things to delay progress – such as hurricanes.


     Levy County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Carol McQueen, who gave an information-packed speech last year about local eco-tourism, spoke primarily about the completed Big Bend Shellfish Trail Map.
      This was a two-year project by the Levy County Tourist Development Council and the Levy County Board of County Commissioners.
     McQueen’s grant application to the Conservation Fund brought back $20,000 to produce in excess of 50,000 maps.
      The Conservation Fund has worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.8 million acres of environmentally valuable land since 1985, including 117,000 acres of working forestry, recreational lands, wildlife habitat and cultural resources across Florida.
     This map covers a four-county stretch of coastline. It includes Levy, Dixie, Taylor and Jefferson counties, McQueen said. The entire Big Bend section of Florida, she added, is 14 counties – from Wakulla County in the north to Pasco County in the south.
     The Conservation Fund was interested by the aquaculture and fisheries of working waterfronts in those four counties, McQueen said.
     She partnered with all four counties as well as the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences statewide shellfish specialist Leslie Sturmer. She works at the UF/IFAS station in Cedar Key and provided scientific facts related to water quality and the effect shellfish have on water purification.
     The map shows a “trail” of places to find shellfish vendors, McQueen said. The map shows locations of restaurants, seafood markets, marinas, tackle box shops and boat ramps.
     The map identifies where recreation shellfish harvesting is available during season, she said. The map shows locations of places to learn about the commercial production of clams and oysters, McQueen continued.
     “And really,” she said, “the map shows where you can go to take an active role in keeping the waters clean and sustainable so that these fisheries can continue to produce.”
     The paper map, she said, has become an online map.
     It is accessible by clicking HERE.
     The map that is online provides Google map options.
     The map tells a story about the shellfish trail, she said. This is the largest shellfish trail in the United States now, McQueen added, because it has six species – Bay Scallops, Blue Crabs, Hard Clams, Oysters, Shrimp and Stone Crabs.
     McQueen said this map can be used as an education tool, too. Children who do not know that milk comes from a cow, for instance, can learn that.
     Likewise, they can learn the origin of deep-fried shrimp, and the many other types of seafood dishes from these six species harvested in the four-county area.
     People are farming some of these shellfish out in the Gulf of Mexico, she said.
     Little cameras on the maps are places where visitors can take selfies or hashtag it, she said.

     McQueen said she is fielding calls at least twice a week from people who want this map. This is one of the resources to help people enjoy visiting the area.

Animal group scores $5,000
from City of Williston
for planned future shelter

This view of the City Council and others on Tuesday night shows (from left) City Councilman Kori Lamb, Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat, President Charles Goodman, Vice President Nancy Wininger, Councilman Elihu Ross, City Manager Scott Lippmann and City Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein Jr. (not seen is City Clerk Frances Taylor, who is out of frame, and City Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson, who was absent from the meeting).

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 10, 2017 at 5:27 p.m.
The four members of Williston City Council on Tuesday night (Nov. 7) raised no objections to Bob Levesque, president of the Levy Animal Friends (LAF), accepting a $5,000 check from City Manager Scott Lippmann in the near future.

     Levesque said he has not been in front of the City Council since 2006 when he was the first president of the group that organizes the Levy County Fair.
     Discussion at the City Council meeting showed the city manager has authority to write a check like Levesque seeks even before having City Council approval.
     This $5,000 payment from the city is for a proposed future animal shelter that shows a current total estimated cost of $260,000.
     The non-profit animal group leader indicated other sources to help fund the project, include one benefactor of animals and a loan-grant agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
     The future animal shelter is planned to be on seven acres that the city is projected to lease to LAF. The property is in the vicinity of the current home of Williston Animal Group (WAG) and the city's current impoundment area for dogs and cats, in the general vicinity of the Williston Municipal Airport and the Monterrey Boats compound.
     The current plan for the future shelter shows it scheduled to include 16 kennels.
     This facility will have a cat room, similar in design to the most recent addition to the facilities at the Levy County Animal Services facility -- which is near to the Levy County Transfer Station (former county landfill area).
     There were many LAF and WAG members in the audience Tuesday night.
     Levesque said LAF would relinquish operations of the facility to the city when it is complete to own and operate, although there will be an advisory board to help the city continue standards of care for dogs and cats that come to the site.
     Levesque mentioned the seven-acre proposal may seem large now, but he foresees growth for Williston's future. Also, in the event that evacuees passing through Levy County during a storm event need a place to house their pets as they stay in Levy County shelters, tents could be set up to accommodate the evacuated animals.
     City Council President Charles Goodman endorsed the plan wholeheartedly from start to finish of Levesque's presentation. As for the $5,000 starter fee, which is half of the $10,000 Levesque said is needed to complete the plans for the site.
     Williston City Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein Jr. is scheduled to create documents to show where the city and LAF have differing duties as the process moves forward. City Council Vice President Nancy Wininger mentioned her desire for some sort of documentation as this partnership on a future animal shelter begins.
     City Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Carson, who is also in charge of city animal control, said he endorses the proposed plan. Carson, who has the license and ability to euthanize dogs and cats, mentioned that the city has not been forced into that difficult duty for some time now.
     The future shelter is being planned as a "no kill" shelter, although even those places have to end the lives of some dogs and cats through humane methods as a result of the animals' health problems, or due to rabies control and the like.
     Levesque intimated that the shelter may be finished in as few as two years, however sometimes plans do not pan out. One example of that plan-to-completion concept is a memorial to honor veterans that the city had hoped would be done before Veterans Day. It did not reach fruition by the hoped-for deadline.
     This project for a new animal shelter in Williston has been under way for a year now, Levesque said, but it wasn't until Tuesday night when he felt comfortable enough to approach the City Council for the city government’s start of investments of revenue and other resources into the project.

Critter Crusaders Wash Dogs

The Critter Crusaders of North Central Florida held a dog wash on Nov. 4 in Old Town at a hardware store in that city. The Volunteer Crusaders were ready to greet the dogs and their very proud ‘Moms’ and ‘Dads’ when the event started at 10 a.m.


It was a perfect day for the sudsy fun and some Tender Loving Care for the four-legged wonders of all sizes. The wonderful pets with their waggily tails stepped up to the tub for their bath, followed by a happy trot to Maggie -- Critter groomer -- for a nail clip, comb out and blow dry.

A good time was had by all. Critter Crusaders' seasonal dog washes help fund this group's low cost spay/neuter and vaccine program. By spaying and neutering, Critter Crusaders is among the groups that helps prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.

Without the support of the pet lovers in the Tri-County Area, it would not be possible for the program to exist. There were 25 dogs and their 'parents' who supported the program by spending some happy time with the Critter Crew on that Saturday.

Those donors are among the folks making the difference for 22 applications that were accepted for cats and dogs to have the procedure. Please call 352-210-1602 or 352-348-1615 for an application for the low cost spay/neuter and vaccine program.
Published Nov. 10, 2017 at 10:07 a.m.

Story and Photos By Lucille Rese


Resident dislikes blight and slum

Jennifer Munden addresses the Levy County Commission on Tuesday (Nov. 7).

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 9, 2017 at 2:07 p.m.
     BRONSON –
A Levy County Williston area resident who sees property in her neighborhood that has reached a point where she feels the government should enforce ordinances regarding blight.

     Another issue she brought up Tuesday (Nov. 7) is barking dogs in her neighborhood.
     Julie Munden owns a home on Levy County Road 102 in the eastern part of the county.
     She said there is property in the area that “… has trash in the yard and it has become worse over the years.”
     Munden said she has filed four complaints with the code enforcement department of Levy County. She said she first filed a complaint on Oct. 13, but has seen no response in that regard.
     Also, she said, there are two dogs on that property in her neighborhood that bark 24-hours-a-day.
     “I work in Gainesville,” Munden said, “but I bring my money back to Levy County. I am proud to live here. I am a taxpayer, and I am a registered voter.”
     Munden said the Levy County Sheriff’s Office told her that it does not enforce the animal nuisance ordinance. Complaints filed with Levy County Animal Services have brought no results as well, she added.
     She asked the County Commission who enforces the ordinances that exist in Levy County. She has lived in Levy County for 10 years, she said.
     This is the second time Munden approached the County Commission with a noise complaint in the past six years, according to records. The first was on Oct. 4, 2011
     In 2011, Munden requested the County Commission to assist in resolving a noise issue from neighbors.
    Six years ago, she stated renters had moved in adjacent from her on Sept. 7, 2011, and have been getting electricity for the pre-existing mobile home by a generator.
     The generator is extremely loud and runs from 6 p.m. until about 10 p.m.  Munden had contacted the LCSO back in 2011 to measure the noise and was informed they do not have a decibel meter, according to minutes from that County Commission meeting in 2011.
     Years ago, former County Commissioner Danny Stevens requested former Building Official Rob Corbitt to have a deputy go to the residence with decibel meter to measure the sound level.
     The trouble now, though, is two dogs barking, barking, barking.
     There are piles of garbage and trash in the yard of this particular house, Munden told the County Commission on Tuesday. One dog is chained to a trailer and one dog is chained to a tree there, she said. And they bark incessantly, she said.
     Other neighbors have filed complaints with the county about this trash-ridden residence as well, Munden said.
     County Commission Chairman John Meeks told Munden that he would check with county code enforcement to see why she has not been contacted. County Commissioner Lilly Rooks said she would look into this issue as well.
     County Commissioner Mike Joyner asked Munden to call him if she does not see results. County Commissioner Matt Brooks, where the issue is located, did not comment. County Commissioner Rock Meeks was absent Tuesday.
     County Attorney Anne Bast Brown said that if the barking dogs are covered under the county ordinance, then the complaint would be enforced by the LCSO. If it is an animal issue, she added, then Levy County Animal Services is responsible to respond to a request for assistance.
     Chairman Meeks said he understands the nuisance and aggravation from hearing barking dogs.
     If the dogs are barking 24-hours-a-day, he said, they may need food or water. Or there could be something in the environment causing them to bark – such as other dogs or stray cats.
     Levy County Building Official Bill Hammond said when there is a complaint made about debris and trash, the offender typically is given 30 days to comply with the demand from the county to clear it.
     After 30 days, Hammond said, the county files for court action. That usually takes 60 days. Violators can save money, however, by responding properly before being taken to court.
     Chairman Meeks promised Munden that at the least the county will provide her with an update on the status of resolving these issues.
     Another resident of the neighborhood said his family visited him, and after seeing that piece of property they decided against considering buying property in that part of Levy County.

Rotary Club Meets In Bell

(from left) Dr. Bob Yancey, Rotarian Jo Buckles and Rotary President Bob Clemons are among the Rotarians in Bell on Monday afternoon (Nov. 6). The Rotary Club of Gilchrist County met at Akins in Bell on Monday for the weekly meeting. In the spirit of being more inclusive of the entire county, the club periodically is scheduled to meet in Bell to make it easier for members who live in the northern end of the county to attend a meeting. There were almost 40 people enjoying Rotarian fellowship and a delicious barbecue luncheon. Rotarian Jo Buckles introduced her guest speaker Dr. Bob Yancey. Dr. Yancey is an infectious disease specialist in Gainesville and he spoke about Antibiotic Stewardship. Antibiotics are being overused. The outcome is the bacteria can become resistant. This causes the antibiotics to become ineffective in fighting disease. Communication to doctors, nurses and patients is important, he said, so that antibiotics are used only when needed. Dr. Yancey is developing a software tracking system that will help monitor the use of antibiotics. The club welcomed many visitors attending the meeting Monday, and their presence made this meeting extra special.  Thanks to all who attended! Rotarians, please remember we DO NOT MEET on Monday, Nov. 13. We'll see you at the Woman's Club in Trenton on Nov. 20.
Published Nov. 7, 2017 at 3:07 p.m.

Information and Photo By Holly Creel,
A Gilchrist County Rotary Club Member


Gilchrist Rotary Club
inducts new members

Rotarian and Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools Rob Rankin, Rotarian Jo Buckles, Rotary inductees Dale Elzie and Sheila Smith, BES Principal Suzanne Mathe, TES Principal Ronda Adkins, Rotary President Bob Clemons, and Rotary Membership Chair Todd Gray pose for a photo on Monday (Nov. 6).

Photo and Story
By Holly Creel, A Gilchrist County Rotary Club Member
Published Nov. 7, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.
-- We inducted our first new members to our Rotary Club under our new name - Gilchrist County Rotary Club! Sheila Smith is sponsored by Rotarian Stephanie Douglas and Dale Elzie is sponsored by Jo Buckles.  Welcome to Sheila and Dale!

     Every year our Rotary Club holds a Purple Pinkie Fundraising Event in our elementary schools. The goal is to raise money to combat polio, a highly infectious disease that can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.
     Just 50 years ago, the disease was widespread thought the world. Through vigorous vaccine efforts, polio cases have decreased to only a few cases in just two countries.
     But, until the disease is totally eradicated, the risk of contracting this dreaded and preventable disease still exists.  Rotary International has been partnering with other groups since the 1980s to provide vaccines around the globe. Bill and Melinda Gates of the Microsoft Foundation have agreed to match $2 for every $1 raised by Rotary in effort to see the end of this devastating disease.
     This year was our best fundraising year ever! We raised $562 at Trenton Elementary School and $556 at Bell Elementary School. Then, an anonymous donor matched the Bell Elementary funds for a total of $1,112 raised by Bell.  This resulted in a total of $1,674 for both schools and with the matching dollars from the Gates Foundation the Rotary Club of Gilchrist County contributed $5,022 for this important cause!
     Thank you to the parents, students, teachers, and principals for making this a stellar fundraising year!

Cookie Walk

Some of the many members of the congregation of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland, 707 N. Main St. (U.S. Highway 19), stand behind a table that is part of a long line of tables that have cookies on top of them in the Fellowship Hall of the church on Saturday (Nov. 4). Seen here (from left) are Alice St. John, Katie Granger, Marcia Pollock, Junie Burr and Nancy Dean. Among the many other female congregation members helping at the event in various fashions were Velma Christian, Ann Tummond, Vickie Menasco, Gerry Jesk and Kay Putchaven. Other females and male members of the congregation helped through various methods as well.

This annual event is a fundraiser by the Sunshine Disciples, one of the ministry groups at this church. There was also a craft sale on the church property on Saturday, and that is part of this same fundraiser. The people of the United Methodist Church have a slogan that says 'Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.' This means that literally everyone is welcome to church at First United Methodist Church of Chiefland, whether it is to buy cookies to fund missions, or during Sunday school classes, or during the regular Sunday worship service, or during the rest of the week as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Daisies, or members of any other groups that might use the various parts of the church facilities on the grounds, including the C. Doyle McCall Pavilion that is located in the field adjacent to U.S. Alt. 27 east of U.S. Highway 19. First United Methodist Church of Chiefland is ‘a church without walls, connecting people with God and each other as we follow Jesus Christ on the path of discipleship. Our vision is to engage diverse people in diverse ways to come to know God and follow Jesus Christ through our witness of God's love in our community.’ Everyone is invited, too, for instance, to join Pastor Alex Christian on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. starting Nov. 21 in the Fellowship Hall (which is in the basement) for an Advent study and discussion on the true gifts of Christmas.  To contact the church, call 352-493-4627.  Or visit the church’s website at, and then click on the words “Contact Us,” which is below the main bar that says “Home, About Us, Fresh Expressions, Growth Groups, Ministries, School Partnerships, Worship.”

Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 4, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.


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.

     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


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