Story and Photo
By Myrtice Scabarozi © Dec. 13, 2017 at 11:37 p.m.
The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday (Dec. 7) at the Levy County Quilt Museum -- 11050 N.W. 10th Ave. (near Levyville, kind of on the way to Judson on Levy County Road 134 from U.S. Alt. 27).
     Each week we think we’re almost finished with the Mohawk Trail quilt in the frame. Next Thursday (today, Dec. 14) we plan to be finished and it should come out of the frame. Usually when we hand-quilt, we try to compliment the design in the quilt -- so we rarely change the quilting pattern. This time, we’ve added more quilting to it, and we’re very pleased with the way it looks. We’re still planning on entering this in competition at the Florida State Fair in 2019.
     On Sunday (Dec. 10), I found donations on the porch. Thank you so much, we looked at them on Tuesday (Dec. 12). We love surprises.
     The Florida Quilt Trail webpage should be up shortly. The Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop started the Trail and the webpage. From one block in one town, it has grown now to be in 18 cities/towns in Florida. The Quilt Trail attracts visitors to the buildings and to the town/city. It will be interesting to see who found us due to the Quilt Trail.
     We will have a class on the Checkered Dresden Plate on Wednesday, Jan. 31 and Johnny, The Old Sewing Machine Man will be here to repair sewing machines.
     We have many items for sale if you’re looking for ideas for Christmas. We’re not just quilts. Check us out.

Oops, we missed one block on the Donation Quilt. Since the drawing is set for Dec. 16, it's time to finish this block.

The checkered dresden plate pattern is made with jelly roll strips or 2 1/2 inch wide strips. The block is supposed to be easy to assemble.


Bingo in Yankeetown
on Thursday nights

Published Dec. 13, 2017 at 10:37 p.m.
Come join our Thursday Night Bingo at the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman’s Club at 7 p.m.

     These Bingo games are open to the public, however there is no indoor smoking allowed.
     Doors open at 6 p.m. to buy cards for $1 each and enjoy some of the best food and homemade desserts from the kitchen. Bring in two non-perishable items for Yankeetown School and you’ll receive a free Early Bird Special.
     Here’s what they need; individual cereal and juice boxes, instant oatmeal, bowls and spoons.
     Get your daubers ready and we’ll see you at the YIWC Club, 5 56th St., Yankeetown each Thursday.
     All proceeds from Bingo go to fund scholarships for local students. You’re giving back to the community in many ways when you grab your friends and neighbors and join the fun that is BINGO. Email: or call 352-447-2057.

Free FWC hunter safety
internet-completion courses
offered in January

Published Dec. 13, 2017 at 10:37 p.m.
     FLORIDA --
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety internet-completion courses in two counties in January (list follows).

     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 dates and times are:
Baker County
Jan. 20 (8 a.m. to noon) Macclenny and (1 p.m. until complete) Lake City

Gilchrist County
Jan. 13 (8:30 a.m. until complete)

     The specific locations for these classes will be given to those who register in advance. Those interested in attending a course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Lake City at 386-758-0525.

Inglis Christmas Parade

This is a six-minute, 22-second video of the Inglis Christmas Parade was created by Jeff Hall and provided by Jeff Bernstein to Jeff M. Hardison for use on This parade was Saturday (Dec. 9).
Published Dec. 11, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

Video By Jeff Hall


Chiefland Christmas Festival
and Lighted Parade delights all

A- Breanna Overstreet, 10, and Emily Mills, 10, of Chiefland enjoy spending a few minutes with Santa Claus.
Story and Photos © Dec. 10, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.
By Terry Witt, Senior Staff Writer
The Chiefland Christmas Festival and Parade were as spectacular as ever Saturday (Dec. 9) despite the usual finger-numbing cold that brought the first taste of winter.
     Judging by their smiles, it was a thrill for many small children watching the colorful floats lumber down U.S. Highway 19 in the darkness and roll past them with their bright lights.
     Many church and business floats were decked out in Christmas lights. The people riding on the floats looked like human icicles, but they were smiling as they waved at the crowd.

Jose' Delacruz, 11, and Salina Delacruz, 8, of Chiefland have fun trying to keep their balance in an oversized rolling ball.

John McCain of Chiefland proved skillful at bouncing 15 feet into the air in this high jump thrill ride.

Bringing up the end of the parade are the colorfully decorated horses. The motorists trapped behind the parade can be seen driving behind them.

The Levy County Sheriff's Office showed off its decorated boat in the parade.

The traditional veterans float, honoring veterans from all wars and branches of military service was colorful and popular with spectators.

Students from Whispering Winds Charter School enjoy their ride in the parade.

Members of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland dressed for the occasion in coats and scarfs and winning smiles.

The Mt. Zion Church of Jesus Christ presented one of the most colorful floats.

The young ladies from D&D Dance Studio were in a cheery Christmas spirit.

     The night seemed darker than most Christmas parades, but it made the lighted floats stand out all the more.
     A large contingent of city police and Levy County sheriff’s deputies made their presence known and managed to control traffic well.
     U.S. Highway 19 was littered with hundreds of pieces of tasty candy but only briefly. Children snatched up the prizes like little vacuum cleaners, leaving the pavement as clean as when the parade started.
     A herd of beautifully decorated horses brought up the end of the parade in keeping with tradition. The young ladies riding these animals were a sight to behold. They appeared to take great pride in riding in the parade. The horses beneath were equally graceful.
     The Chiefland High School Band performed for the crowd and added a musical background for the parade.
     The Chiefland Christmas Festival earlier in the day appeared to have been well organized by the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce, but the biting cold wind and chilly temperatures apparently convinced many to stay home.
     Even Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus had plenty of time on their hands until the Christmas couple was discovered by a small group of children that moved in to happily sit on Santa’s lap.
     Santa has plenty of work ahead of him as the Christmas holiday approaches, but he was nice enough to swoop down on Chiefland in his bright red suit to visit with his young admirers.


CF Ocala conducts
3rd Annual Holiday Bake-Off

Danielle Doty (left) and Lois Brauckmuller confer before the start of the judging.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 8, 2017 at 2:07 p.m.
Updated Dec. 8, 2017 at 7:37 p.m.
     OCALA –
Thirteen people entered 18 baked desserts for 10 judges to evaluate Thursday Dec. 7) in the College of Central Florida’s 3rd Annual Holiday Bake-Off.

     Director Marketing and Public Relations Lois Brauckmuller and CF Manager of Community Relations Danielle Doty were among the staff and volunteers who assured each judge was well-equipped with forks, plates, napkins, beverages, instructions and forms.
     While the matters at hand may not have risen to the level of rocket science, the fate of some number of villagers somewhere in the world may have rested on the relative baking skills on one contestant.
     And there could be even more than a million other stories from this event reaching the point of qualifying as an annual event. Yes the first-ever Holiday Bake-Off and the subsequent second-ever event have now reached the point where journalists everywhere qualify something as the “annual” whatever.
     “An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years,” according to one of the notations on page 15 of The Associated Press Stylebook And Libel Manual (© 1988). “Do not use the term first annual. Instead, note that sponsors plan to hold an event annually.”


One table of cakes is seen here.

This is a cake that looks like a snowman.

These are some of the bars that were in the competition.

     Now, let’s get back to the goat and the villagers.
     Brauckmuller mentioned during the event to one judge that one of the bakers said that he or she would buy a goat if that entry won the $110 top prize in one of the three categories.
     Apparently there is a charity that allows individuals to buy goats for impoverished villages.
     Judging the entrees, however, was not based on what a winner might do with his or her cash.
     The three categories this year were Cakes, Cookies and Bars.
     The first place winner in each of the three categories was awarded a certificate and $110. The second and third place finalists went home with certificates.
     The awards were announced and presented at a holiday party Thursday afternoon.
     Judges ranked each item from 1 through 5.
     Just so the judges were clear about what “1” through “5” meant, there were words next to each number. Those words from lowest to highest were “Yuck!”, “Not So Great,” “Okay,” “Good” and “Amazing.”
     The 3rd Annual CF Holiday Bake Off attracted many CF employees who were willing to compete with each other in the baked dessert competition.
     Room 107 of the CF Ewers Century Center had tables of homemade cakes, cookies and bars. The first year, there were also homemade candies and pies. The second year, there were also pies.
     This year, there were the three categories, which gave one wordsmith a chance to have fun with the word “bars.” Interestingly, of the four entrants for the bar contest, one set the bar.
     The scoring sheets showed judges had to evaluate on “Presentation,” “Appropriate Texture,” “Flavor/Taste” and “Overall Impression.” In those four realms, there was a scale of one to five as noted earlier in this year’s story. So the highest score to be earned from one judge for one item was 20 points.
     Judges were armed with forks, paper plates and napkins, as well as pens and the scoring sheets. Judges had access to water or coffee to cleanse their palates as they carefully checked each wonderful treat.
     The judging took place in the College of Central Florida’s Ewers Century Center, in Ocala, in Room 102.
     One of the judges – Jeff M. Hardison – owns a daily online news website that focuses primarily on Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties; however coverage can be anywhere – and anywhere includes Marion, Alachua, Citrus and other Florida counties, as well as any state or nation on the planet.
     The CF Holiday Bake Off masterpieces served as the centerpiece in a magnificently decorated room for the CF Holiday Party, which was that afternoon
     Without a doubt, the treats were all so delicious that each judge was hard-pressed and had to take great time and effort to evaluate each item.
     The information about the winners will be added to this story at some point in the future, if the information becomes available.

     ● 1st place – Susan Dagg (CF Printing & Postal Services) – Coconut Rum Crème Cake
     ● 2nd place – Kelly Besser (Student Success) – Winter Wonderland Chocolate Cake
     ● 3rd place – Jo-anne Holleran (Student Success/Academic Advising) – Snowman Cake
     ● 1st place – Judy Menadier (Institutional Effectiveness) – Scottish Empire Biscuits
     ● 2nd place – Cindy Baldwin (Criminal Justice) – Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
     ● 3rd place – Linda Sagendorph (Learning Support Center) – Pumpkin Spice Cookies
     ● 1st place – Melissa Alling (Communications Faculty) – Raspberry Crumble Bars
     ● 2nd place – Susan Dagg (CF Printing & Postal Services) – Raspberry Raisin Walnut Bars
     ● 3rd place – Lynn Ruis (Financial Operations) – Holiday Mint Brownies

     Hardison said he was honored to be invited for the third time to judge baked goods in competition at the College of Central Florida for its employees’ Third Annual Holiday Bake-Off.
     "Once again," Hardison said, "it was a hoot!"

Fiberglass clams
coming to Levy County

Leslie Sturmer, an agent with UF/IFAS Shellfish Extension, speaks to the commissioners on Tuesday (Dec. 5).

Story and Photo © Dec. 6, 2017
By Jeff M. Hardison
     BRONSON --
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday morning (Dec. 5) heard about works of art -- fiberglass clams -- planned for placement at places in Levy County.

     Leslie Sturmer, an agent with UF/IFAS Shellfish Extension, spoke to the commissioners on Tuesday about the plan to place three of the fiberglass works of art at county locations initially.
     Tisha Whitehurst, the Levy County RESTORE Act coordinator said it is better to not name specific locations yet.
     Rose Cantwell and Sue Colson of the Cedar Key Aquaculture Association endorse the program, which is known as the Follow the Claim Trail. This program will help people learn about the heritage, ecology and shellfish resource-based economy of Cedar Key and the surrounding area.
     This is a fun, educational and public art treasure hunt that will go through Cedar Key and other parts of Levy County. The 10 clams are all made of fiberglass and will be about five-feet tall. They are to be painted and decorated by local artists.
     Each clam will have a fact plaque, according to the information provided to the County Commission that includes information about the clam's ecological and economic benefit to the coastal waters of Levy County.
     The RESTORE Act funding for this project is listed at $53,500 for the 10 fiberglass clams; for honorariums for local artists to paint the clams; to create and print inserts to the paper version of the Shellfish Trail Map; to promote through webpage development, media and advertising; and to support local businesses - such as fiberglass manufacturers, graphic designers and printing companies.
     The County Commission agreed to endorse the plan to create 10 fiberglass clams. There is no cost to the county for the project.
     As far as where to place the three clams in the county beyond Cedar Key locations, the commission asked Sturmer and others to confer with Levy County Coordinator Wilbur Dean, Levy County Attorney Anne Bast Brown and Levy County Parks and Recreation Director Matt Weldon to assure the places to put them are suitable.

Christmas music draws talent
and listeners to Old Town

Krista Campbell (left) and Dotti Leichner open the celebration of Christmas with music on Sunday (Dec. 3) at the Dixie Music Center in Old Town. Campbell also sang a song she first wrote in 1971, and that she just recently finished about the true meaning of Christmas.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 3, 2017 at 9:17 p.m.
     OLD TOWN --
Like a magnet, the idea of a Christmas music celebration drew talented musicians and fans of music as some of the sounds of the season again reverberated through the Old Town area on Sunday afternoon and evening (Dec. 3).
      Christmas was in the air and on the ground as the Dixie Music Center, located at 26626 S.E. U.S. Highway 19 in Old Town, again as by Bob and Dotti Leichner hosted the annual Christmas concert on the wooded acreage next to the store.

People start to fill the area as the fun begins. This event falls on the heels of festivals, parades, races, historic get-togethers and more from the day and night before in Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties.

Bob Leichner pulls on the beard of Santa Claus as Dotti sits on Santa’s lap. Many other children and adults enjoyed visiting with Santa on Sunday as well.

Members of Ole Skool, a trio of excellent musicians, help set up the sound system as Don Thomas on guitar and singing, Dwight Smith on guitar, Dotti Leichner on bass and Bob Leichner on drums, prepare to perform

In this video Don Thomas sings the song Blue Christmas, which was created by Elvis Presley and was first released in 1957. Joining Thomas, who is a former Gilchrist County superintendent of schools, is Dwight Smith on guitar, Dotti Leichner on bass, and Bob Leichner on drums.

In these still shots (above and below), four of the many musicians are seen preparing to perform. This is Don Thomas on guitar, Dwight Smith on guitar, Dotti Leichner on bass and Bob Leichner on drums.

     People came from far and near with lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy this free event which was open to the public. Many of the attendees brought contributions of non-perishable food items to be donated to a local service agency.
     Santa Claus and an elf were present to visit with children.
     Dotti Leichner mentioned the passing this year of Lillian Beamis and that this concert was dedicated in memory of her.
     There were many talented musicians again this year, including Karen Powers. Dotti South & the Slackers were in full force.
     Krista Campbell performed a very nice medley of Christmas classics in a group sing-along assisted by Dotti at the onset of the big musical event.
     A good time was had by all who attended. All of the musicians helped everyone have a little more of the spirit of Christmas in their hearts.    Dixie Music Center, established in 1991, is owned and operated by Bob and Dotti Leichner. This is the absolute best place in the Tri-County Area to buy any musical equipment or to connect with music teachers.


Appleton to present
two exhibitions
of Rembrandt prints;

Opening in January
Published Oct. 24, 2017 at 8:37 a.m.
     OCALA --
The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is scheduled to present two exhibitions of prints by Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn from Jan. 20 to March 18.

    The prints are “Rembrandt and the Jews,” organized by the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, Westmont College, and “Rembrandt Revealed: Etchings from the collection of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Mariann McClary.”
    Rembrandt’s legacy as an etcher is characterized by the new and innovative techniques he introduced to printmaking. He broke with traditional depictions of biblical narratives and added emotional and psychological depth to his subjects through expressive faces, dramatic body language, and his bold use of shadow and light.
    “Rembrandt and the Jews” features 22 Rembrandt etchings from the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, Westmont College. The Santa Barbara, California-based museum received a gift of the etchings and a drawing by Pieter Lastman, Rembrandt’s teacher, from Dr. Howard Berger and Fran Berger.
    The relationship Rembrandt had with the Jews of Amsterdam is a remarkable story. Most were Sephardic Jews ― refugees from the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal.
    For many generations these Jews had been forced to deny their religious legacy, but in Amsterdam they were free to reclaim traditions and return to their Judaism. Rembrandt lived in Amsterdam’s prosperous Jewish neighborhood.
    In Rembrandt’s interpretation of Protestant Old Testament narratives, Rembrandt consulted Jewish theologians for a nuanced perspective of these familiar subjects. He also painted and etched portraits of prominent Jews. “Rembrandt and the Jews” is sponsored in part by Phil and Charlotte Rosenberg.
    Running concurrently is “Rembrandt Revealed: Etchings from the Collection of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Mariann McClary.” Featuring 10 prints, the work on view from the McClarys depicts Rembrandt’s world — inhabited by golfers, physicians, print-sellers and beggars.
    Dr. McClary acknowledges that he didn’t know much about the art form back in the early 1990s when he noticed his first Rembrandt etching, “The Golfer,” at a gallery in Pebble Beach. “I knew who Rembrandt was, of course, and I was impressed that anybody could buy anything from his hand,” McClary recalls.
    Purchasing “The Golfer” piqued McClary’s interest enough to read about Rembrandt and his etchings, and the McClarys — who are Marion County residents — have been collecting ever since.

Exhibition Events:
* Director’s Circle and VIP Reception
Friday, Jan. 19, 5-6 p.m.
The Appleton’s Director’s Circle members are invited for a special opening reception. RSVP required to Colleen Harper, or 352-291-4455, ext. 1831.
* Inspired Speakers Series Exhibition Talk, Dr. Lisa DeBoer
Friday, Jan. 19, 6-7 p.m.
Join us for a talk on Rembrandt’s legacy and the inspiration for “Rembrandt and the Jews” by scholar and Rembrandt catalog essay author Dr. Lisa DeBoer. This event is free for Appleton members and $10 at the door for nonmembers. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Visitor Services, 352-291-4455.
* Exhibition Talk, “Scratching the Surface: Rembrandt the Master Etcher”
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.
Associate Professor and artist Tyrus Clutter will analyze the process of the etching medium within the exhibition and why Rembrandt’s mastery of the process has never been surpassed and continues to inspire artists and viewers to this day. This event is free for Appleton members; included with regular admission fee for nonmembers.
     In addition to temporary exhibitions, the Appleton Museum of Art presents a permanent collection of European, American and contemporary art, plus Asian, African and pre-Columbian artifacts and antiquities.
     Through January 2018, the main portion of the museum will not be available to visitors due to a heating and cooling equipment replacement project. The Edith-Marie Appleton Gallery, ARTSpace, art classrooms and a mini Appleton Store are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and closed every Monday.
     During this time, our regular admission fees will be replaced with a pay-what-you-wish donation option.
     Owned and operated by the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit

THURSDAY   Dec. 14   7:47 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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