(Please remember to scroll down)
Two win in Gilchrist County
Sheriff's Office chili contest
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz presents Susie Caulk with her trophy as the overall winner of the competition.
Story and Photos
By Terry Witt, Senior Reporter © Feb. 17, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
TRENTON -- There were 28 chili chefs competing Friday (Feb. 16) in the 9th Annual Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office cook-off.
More Below This Ad
Kristal Holley and Julee Brideson dish out the chili samples to the judges.
Chili judges (from left) Trip Lancaster, Robert Willis and Michelle Walker-Crawford taste chili samples in the early going.
The chili entries line an entire wall of the Trenton Woman's Club and part of another wall.
This chili entry, Just Waiting on the Trophy, drew quite a few chuckles.
Chili 3-PO was touted as having traveled the universe searching for the best cancer fighting ingredients. The elaborate marquis was part of the fun.
Susie Caulk and Kristen Hite earned the two top honors from among those 28 entries.
Caulk won Best Overall Chili and Hite won with the Most Unique Chili. The event, held at the Trenton Woman’s Club, was sponsored by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office Relay for Life Team. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Fanning Springs Mayor Trip Lancaster, Gilchrist County District 3 School Board Member Michelle Walker-Crawford and Assistant State Attorney Robert Willis, division chief for the Gilchrist County office of Eigth Judicial Circuit State Attorney William Cervone, served as chili judges.
“Cancer is something that affects all of us," Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said. "We can never do enough to fight this disease.”
The event was nearly overshadowed by the closing of Gilchrist County Schools following an emailed threat to the school district. The sheriff’s office was notified of the threat at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Schultz said he consulted with school officials and a decision was made to close the schools to protect students. Schools will remain closed on Monday due to the planned holiday for Presidents Day. Students will return on Wednesday as a result of Tuesday being a planned day off for students, although it is a teacher workday. Actually, as of Saturday, the schedules all returned to normal.
“Our schools were shut down today because of the threat. We’re using an abundance of caution when it comes to our babies,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the threat was specific to Gilchrist County schools. The sheriff said it is not financially feasible to station deputies in every school.
Walker-Crawford said the decision to close the schools was made because the threat arrived late and many families and their children were already in bed for the night. Schultz said the late night threat didn’t give law enforcement time to vet the email and attempt to find out who sent it. He said they may never know who sent it.
Walker-Crawford said the School Board was aware that there could be a copycat incident. She was referring to the Broward County shooting at a public school on Wednesday.
Walker-Crawford, who has a daughter teaching at Trenton High School, said students practice drills for emergencies like this one. Teachers and students know how to find a safe place to hide.
On a more positive note, Susie Caulk, the overall winner, said her winning chili entry was the first in the nine hear history of the contest. She didn’t know she was supposed to name her chili, so when she arrived she was told to give it a name. Since the chili was in a Gator crockpot, she named it Gator Chili.
Some of the other entries had colorful names including “Tongue in Cheek..No really, Just Waiting on the Trophy, Hog’s Breath, The Little Burro Sweet with a Little kick, Suwannee Kicker and Junkyard Chili."
It was all in fun.
She said she has no secret recipe.
“It was just traditional chili. I don’t put extras in it, just tomatoes, beans and hamburger meat, salt and pepper,” she said.
Caulk, a nurse tech and unit clerk at North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville, said she enjoys entering cakes at the chili cook-off cake auction, which is also part of the fund-raising effort for the Relay for Life. She has entered a cake every year of the event. She enjoys doing charity work and is a strong supporter of Sheriff Schultz.
“We have a great sheriff and I like to support him and the cancer society,” she said. “I had a couple of my grandkids there today. They saw Nanna win the contest. That was extra special.”
Workout on the Waterfront
supports public aquarium
at NCBS in Cedar Key
Event set for Feb. 24
Particpants in the 2017 Workout on the Waterfront compete and have fun on the water.
By Samantha Grenrock
Public Relations Specialist | UF/IFAS Communications
Published Feb. 2, 2018 at 8:28 a.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2018 at 9:28 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- On Feb. 24, Nature Coast residents are slated to run, walk and paddle in support of science education and pollution prevention.
Proceeds from the Annual Workout on the Waterfront (WOW) will go toward the 2018 International Coastal Clean-up and a new public aquarium at the Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Florida. The NCBS is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The event also aims to raise awareness about the impact of plastic pollution, a type of marine debris, on our oceans, said Savanna Barry, Ph.D., a regional specialized Sea Grant agent with UF/IFAS NCBS.
“We hope people come away with a better understanding of marine debris. We will have pledge cards available for people to make a commitment to reducing their use of single-use plastics, such as drinking straws,” Dr. Barry said.
The event features three competitions:
• Coastal Heritage 5K: Runners and walkers follow a scenic route through historic Cedar Key.
• Kayak Challenge: Kayakers race to and from Atsena Otie Key, and must pick up at least one piece of trash they find along the way.
• Repurpose-It Regatta: Participants race in boats they have constructed out of natural, biodegradable materials. Find the rules at http://bit.ly/2E9vvkR.
All events start in Cedar Key. Participants can find specific times, locations and sign-up forms online. Single events range from $25 to $40, with combination entries available at reduced cost.
“This is a fun event for individuals and families that supports our efforts to give back to the community,” Barry said. “A public aquarium will be a great way to introduce the community to scientific research we’re doing at the station. It will have species that live in the Cedar Key area and will give people a view into a world they don’t get to see all the time.”
Clyde Butcher's exhibits in
Cedar Key March 3 to April 30
Photos By Clyde Butcher
By Mandy Offerle Cedar Key
Published Jan. 20, 2018 at 2:47 p.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2018 at 9:28 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The much-anticipated Cedar Key Arts Center event, Florida’s Wild Landscapes through the Lens of Clyde Butcher, is scheduled to start March 3.
The event is tri-faceted.
Butcher will sign books and lecture at the Cedar Key Community Center.
Butcher will attend a reception in his honor at the Cedar Key Arts Center Gallery, where his work will be exhibited.
Third, the exhibition is to be open for viewing from March 3 until April 30.
All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required, however, for Butcher’s lecture / talk.
The lecture "Florida’s Wild Landscapes through the Lens of Clyde Butcher" is set to be March 3. There is a 1:30 p.m. Book Signing event before the lecture/talk.
The Lecture /Talk is slated to start at 2 p.m.
There is another Book Signing event scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Cedar Key Community Center, 809 Sixth St., in Cedar Key.
REGISTRATION A NECESSITY
As space is limited, registration for this event, though free, is necessary.
Tickets may be ordered through Eventbrite soon.
Expect more information soon.
The "Florida’s Wild Landscapes through the Lens of Clyde Butcher Reception" is scheduled for March 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cedar Key Arts Center, 457 Second St.
The "Florida’s Wild Landscapes through the Lens of Clyde Butcher Reception" is scheduled for March 3 through April 30 at the Cedar Key Arts Center, 457 Second St.
Funding for this program is provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event do not necessarily represent those of thee Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
‘Lost In Yonkers’ by Neil Simon
Published Feb. 17, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.
OCALA -- The College of Central Florida’s Visual and Performing Arts Department is scheduled to present Neil Simon’s 1991 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “Lost in Yonkers,” from Thursday and Friday, March 8-9, starting at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 10, at 3 p.m. at the CF Dassance Fine Arts Center, 3001 S.W. College Road, in Ocala.
The comedy centers on two brothers, Arty and Jay, who live with their grandmother and Aunt Bella while their father travels, trying to earn enough money while working as a salesman to pay off debts incurred since their mother passed away. Over the course of the play, the young boys learn lessons about love, responsibility and the importance of family that will make a lasting impression.
The show is directed by Dr. Kathleen R. Downs, associate theater professor who has more than 60 productions to her credit as a director and producer. She has a doctorate in theater from Kent State University and a master’s in education in higher administration from the University of Toledo.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students.
CF students, faculty and staff are free with CF identification. For tickets and more information, call the CF Box Office at 352-873-5810 or visit www.tickets.cf.edu. The box office is located in lobby of the Fine Arts Center and is open from 1 to 4 p.m. and an hour before show time.
This performance is sponsored in part by Senior Learners and produced by special arrangements with Samuel French.
Florida and WWII program
planned for March 15
Cedar Key members of the United States military during WWII
Photo from the Cedar Key Historical Society Archives
Published Feb. 17, 2018 at 9:18 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The Cedar Key Historical Society is scheduled on March 15 at 10 a.m. to presents Dr. Gary Mormino who will give a program titled Florida and World War II.
This program is slated to be at the Cedar Key Community Center Sixth Street and F Street in Cedar Key. This is part of the Florida Humanities Speaker Series for 2018.
Dr. Gary Mormino is scheduled as the presenter of the day.
Dr. Mormino is the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History Emeritus and past director of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida's campus in St. Petersburg.
Mormino graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught at USF since 1977. In 2003, the Florida Humanities Council named him its first Humanist of the Year. He was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing by the Florida Humanities Council.
The presenter is scheduled to show that prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was Dec. 7, 1941, Florida was the least populated state in the South.
Today, Florida is the third most populated state in all of America, following California and Texas respectively.
Mormino contends that World War II is the linchpin between that underdeveloped and sparsely settled place and a state now populated by 21 million inhabitants. The war ended the Great Depression, brought two million servicemen and women to Florida, and set the stage for the new Florida dream that followed.
World War II touched the most remote settlements in Florida.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Amy Gernhardt, Cedar Key Historical Society 352-543-5549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cedar Key art fest wins again
Published Feb. 17, 2018 at 8:18 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The Old Florida Celebration of the Arts (OFCA) was once again named one of the Top 10 Juried Art Fairs in America in the ArtFairCalendar.com annual survey.
This reflects another reason to attend this year’s celebration, scheduled for March 24 and 25. The OFCA also has received, for the three of the last four years, national recognition as one of the Top 5 Small Town Art Shows.
That sums up a reason for so many people traveling to the Gulf Coast town of Cedar Key for the 54th Annual Spring Arts Festival.
EXPERIENCE OLD WORLD FLORIDA IN AN INTIMATE VENUE
There are 120 artists invited to the OFCA as selected by an experienced jury. Mass produced items or country crafts are not favored so that the artwork for sale — traditional 2D paintings, prints, and photography in addition to 3D ceramic, glass, wood, metal and mixed media sculpture — is finely and uniquely crafted with demonstrations scheduled for both days. By limiting the number of artists, this leaves room for a relaxed layout, notably more intimate from larger events that often host 250-300 artists and thousands more visitors.
There are at least seven art shows scheduled for this same weekend in Florida. They are located at Safety Harbor, Melbourne, Tarpon Springs, Saint Augustine, St. Pete Beach, Altamonte Springs/Orlando and DeLand.
Visitors are invited to enjoy a tasty line-up of food and beverages on Cedar Key at the OFCA hosted by the Cedar Key Lions Club, which also arranges live music. Food sale proceeds in the park go toward helping local, non-profit organizations.
ART-FILLED COMMUNITY, LOCAL AND AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS
Before hosting one of Florida’s first fine arts festivals in 1964, Cedar Key already had become a haven for artists inspired by its quiet, natural beauty. That beauty remains to this day, along with a thriving reputation as a destination for artists and art enthusiasts.
Each year this event attracts award-winning, local, new and emerging artists. This year welcomes 2018 OFCA Design Contest winners Miriam Novak of Gainesville, a Cedar Key Art Festival participant for more than 15 years, and newcomer Clint Eagar of Rosa Beach. In addition, returning award winning artists include Michael Everett (2017 Best of Show), Jean Yao (2017 Best 3D & 2016 Creativity Award), and local favorite, Susan Dauphinee (Awards of Excellence 2014, 2016 & 2017).
For more information, please contact the OFCA by email at CedarKeyArtsFestival@gmail.com, or call 352-543-5400.
FWC offers hunter safety
in nine counties in March
In this photo, the young lady on the right is preparing to pass her weapon to the gentleman on the left. The two hunters in their proper bright orange vests are demonstrating for the instructor, the man with the orange vest and the clipboard, that they know how to properly pass over or through a fence while hunting with a firearm. Learning safe methods of hunting helps reduce the odds of injuries and deaths that can result when people use unsafe hunting methods.
Information and Photo
Provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Published Feb, 13, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.
LAKE CITY -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety internet-completion courses in nine counties in March (listed below).
Students who have taken the online course and wish to complete the classroom portion must bring the online-completion report with them.
All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil and paper. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times.
Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.
The places, dates and times are:
March 4 (10 a.m. until complete) Gainesville
March 10 (8 a.m. to noon) Macclenny and (1 p.m. until complete) Lake City
March 3 (9 a.m. until complete) Lecanto
March 1 (6-9 p.m.) Keystone Heights and March 3 (8 a.m. until complete) Graham
March 8 (6-9 p.m.) Orange Park and March 10 (8 a.m. until complete) Graham
March 15 (6-9 p.m.) Fleming Island and March 17 (8 a.m. until complete) Graham
March 1 (6-9 p.m.) and March 3 (8:30 a.m. until complete) Lake City
March 8 (6-9 p.m.) and March 10 (8:30 a.m. until noon) Jacksonville
March 25 (3 p.m. until complete) Chiefland
March 10 (9 a.m. until complete) Pinetta
March 3 (8 a.m. to noon) Callahan and (1 - 3 p.m.) Bryceville
The specific locations for these classes will be given to those who register in advance. The reason the specific location is only given to those people is because there needs to be enough material for the people who planned to be there. Those interested in attending a course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at http://myfwc.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Lake City at 386-758-0525.
DEP celebrates grand re-opening
of Gilchrist Blue Springs
State Park Campground
celebrates Florida's 175th state park
State and county officials prepare to cut the ribbon.
Story and Photo Provided
By The DEP Press Office
Published Feb. 11, 2018 at 8:18 a.m.
GILCHRIST COUNTY – On Friday (Feb. 9, 2011), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the re-opening of campground facilities at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, Florida’s 175th state park.
The park offered free admission to visitors from 8 a.m. to sundown on Friday and Saturday in celebration of Florida's newest state park.
Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet, sitting as the trustees of Florida land, approved the purchase of the 407-acre Gilchrist Blue Springs property for $5.2 million in June of 2017. The property was purchased with Florida Forever funding, and was ranked Number 1 in the Florida Forever Partnerships and Regional Incentives project category.
“Florida is home to an award-winning state park system,” Gov. Scott said, “which helps protect our many unique natural treasures and attract millions of visitors to our state. Our parks are incredibly important, which is why I am proposing a record $50 million to protect our state parks for future generations as part of the historic investments for Florida’s environment. I am proud to celebrate the state’s 175th state park and encourage families to enjoy Florida’s beautiful outdoors at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park.”
The DEP secretary weighed in on the accomplishment as well.
“I am excited to celebrate the addition of Florida’s 175th state park,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Because of our partnerships with members of the local, regional and state communities, we, as Floridians, are better situated to educate visitors and each other of Florida’s prized properties. Gilchrist Blue Springs has been a popular spot for visitors for 60 years, and this acquisition ensures that we can continue sharing public lands with visitors today and for years to come.”
The property, which contains six natural springs and includes approximately one mile of frontage along the Santa Fe River, has been providing recreational opportunities as a private park since 1958. As a state park, Gilchrist Blue Springs will continue to offer numerous opportunities for resource-based recreation, including swimming, paddling and hiking. Florida is the only state to win three National Gold Medals for Excellence following the Florida Parks Service’s third award in 2013.
“Thanks to the support of Gov. Scott and The Cabinet, Gilchrist Blue will continue to offer incredible visitor services while we manage Florida's natural resources,” said Eric Draper, DEP Director of Florida State Parks. “Florida State Parks are destinations for visitors to make memories, unwind and connect with nature. The work we do with our partners to restore and protect these unique pieces of land gives visitors the ability to fully enjoy our park system."
Among the natural springs on the property is a large second magnitude spring that produces an average of 44 million gallons of water per day. This spring, known as Gilchrist Blue, discharges water through a shallow spring run about one-quarter mile to the Santa Fe River. The other named springs on-site are Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring and Johnson Spring.
"The Friends of Florida State Parks are thrilled to be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Gilchrist Blue today," said Paula Russo, president of the Friends of Florida State Parks. "By supporting this acquisition, Governor Scott and the Cabinet have given us another opportunity to preserve Florida's natural resources and encourage community involvement."
The executive director of the Florida Land Trust spoke about the addition of the park to the lands that are the property of the people of Florida.
“The acquisition of Gilchrist Blue and addition to the Florida Parks System ensures these natural resources will be protected for the next generation,” said Traci Deen, executive director of the Florida Land Trust. “We commend the state’s efforts to preserve this iconic property and facet of the local community for the benefit of people and wildlife.”
Another person who is involved with public land spoke about the park being added to the public property.
"Gilchrist Blue is a crown jewel for North Central Florida," said Tom Kay, executive director of the Alachua Conservation Trust. "This is a project that my organization has been involved in for a long time and we are proud to see this become a part of the state park system to be protected for Floridians and visitors."
The executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management Director said the District will work toward preservation of this property.
“The District appreciates the efforts by Gov. Scott and DEP to further protect and preserve special places like Gilchrist Blue,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District. “We look forward to working with DEP for the long-term preservation of this important resource for future generations to enjoy.”
photographs are set to be
on display at CF Citrus
Feb. 12 - March 9
Photo Provided by CF
Photo by Rebecca Pujals-Jones
Published Jan. 29, 2018 at 12:47 a.m.
LECANTO -- The work of photographer Rebecca Pujals-Jones is scheduled to be on display Monday, Feb. 12, through Friday, March 9, in the upper level of the Dorothea Jerome Building at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, in Lecanto.
Pujals-Jones is an adjunct professor of digital media at the CF Citrus Campus and has been a fine art and commercial photographer in the Central Florida area since the late 1990s. Her work can be viewed at the Franklin Anderson Gallery of Arts in Crystal River or through her website www.PujalsJones.com.
“This unique fine art documentary utilizes the 1850s historic collodion wet-plate process as a medium for water activism,” said Pujals-Jones. “With this project I join artists, activists and organizations in a plea for a more dynamic citizen engagement for restoring our waterways.”
The exhibit is free and may be viewed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To learn about other events at CF, please visit http://www.cf.edu/.