Biannual quilt show
fills Inglis Community Center

(from left) Drinda Merritt, Rosella Hennessy and Liz Clawson are the first Inglis Sew And Sews members helping visitors learn as much as they like about quilting in Inglis on Sunday (Nov. 19). Merritt is also the mayor of Inglis, as well as being an avid quilter.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 20, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.
     INGLIS --
For the third time in six years, the once-every-other year Sew And Sews Quilt Show filled the Inglis Community Center on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 18 and 19).
     On Sunday, it was members Drinda Merritt, Rosella Hennessy and Liz Clawson as the first string of members who welcomed visitors.

This quilt named Over the Rainbow was made by Lila Runnels when she was 10 years old. The quilt earned the 2017 Levy County Best of Show Award in Creative Arts for Quilts. It was among the 112 pieces on display at the Inglis Community Center.

     The Inglis Sew And Sews group has been around for nine years, helping anyone who wants to enjoy the art of quilting with others.
     This year, Merritt said, there were the most pieces on display ever -- 112.

     The group gets together to quilt, and they create quilts to help veterans and the community. In nine years, they have made close to 400 lap quilts for veterans. The Sew And Sews donate these lap quilts to Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary #158.
     The Sew And Sews help people who have never started a quilt. They teach them how to cut squares, sew straight seams, "do corners" and other activities required for the creation of a quilt.
     While some people may think quilting is a fading art, one girl put her award-winning on display in the show this year -- exemplifying those future generations may carry this practice forward in time.
     Lila Runnels was 10 years old when she earned the 2017 Levy County Best of Show Award in Creative Arts for Quilts. She named this quilt Over the Rainbow when she made it in 2016. The 11-year-old girl is from Gulf Hammock. Her quilt coach is Grandma Marcia Hoekstra of Dunnellon, who was 68 in 2016.
     One wall of quilts on display came from families’ personal collections from their ancestors.
     The next Sew And Sews Biannual Quilt Show is scheduled to be in conjunction with the Yankeetown Arts, Crafts and Seafood Festival on the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2019.

Story and Photo
By Myrtice Scabarozi © Nov. 20, 2017 at 7:47 p.m.
The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday (Nov. 9) 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).
     We’ve reached the halfway part of the quilt-in-the-frame, except we’ve decided it needs a little more quilting. The circles and half circles will be getting quilted as well as the outside strips. As we roll the quilt back to the starting point, we’ll add the extra quilting.
     Ann brought in her latest quilt top - a star variation. Thanks for sharing it with us. It’s very pretty.
     Correctional Officer Derick and the adult male inmates from Lancaster Correctional Institution (LCI) were out during the week. The shelves in the storage room are finished. Now it’s time for us to fill the shelves. We’re finding several more boxes of fabric to measure and put out so be sure to drop by one day. Thanks LCI!
     Monday I found on the porch a Cathedral Window quilt that was about halfway finished. We’ve had boxes of books, bags of fabric and other sewing notions so I never expected to find a Cathedral Window.
     Just imagine the time involved in cutting out hundreds of 4 inch squares and an equal number of 1 inch squares. All these pieces are hand sewn. We’re so happy the quilt came to us rather than landing in the trash. Someone spent a lot of time working on this quilt and we appreciate being able to save this quilt so others can see it. Thanks so much.
     Don’t forget the Backyard Pickers will be here Saturday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.
     Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Ann completed this top last week. The colors are fantastic.

A cathedral window quilt was donated this week. It needs to be finished and we love it. It looks to be an older quilt and the pieces to complete the quilt came with it.


County Commission assists
Inglis in trail grant request

Marilyn Ladner shows the County Commission the map as Mayor Drinda Merritt speaks. County Coordinator Wilbur Dean is seen in the background.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 8, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.
     BRONSON --
An item that was not on the agenda Tuesday morning (Nov. 7) received a 4-0 vote of approval from the Levy County Commission.

     After first agreeing 4-0 to hear the non-agenda item, the County Commission moved forward. Commissioner Rock Meeks was absent.
     Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt asked the County Commission to allow Grant Coordinator Tisha Whitehurst to work with the Town of Inglis for a feasibility study to be conducted in regard to the town's connection to Sun Trails.
     The Florida Shared-Use Non-motorized (SUN) Trail Network is authorized under Florida Statutes.
     The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is directed to make use of its expertise in efficiently providing transportation projects to develop a statewide system of paved non-motorized trails as a component of the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS), which is planned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
      FDOT is soliciting new proposals for funding Regional Trail System and Individual Trail projects through the Shared-Use Non-motorized (SUN) Trail program for inclusion in the Tentative Five-Year Work Program development cycle. Projects programmed for this cycle will be funded as early as Fiscal Years 2023/2024.
     To receive consideration for SUN Trail funding, the District Trail Coordinator must receive a separate, complete “Request for Funding” for each eligible Regional or Individual Trail project with applicable information, including the prioritization, and required signatures beginning Oct. 5 and no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Dec. 15.
     The FGTS currently includes the bike trails between Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, with trailheads in Chiefland, Trenton and Cross City at former railroad depots. The Rails To Trails program led to this aspect of the Florida State Park System.
      Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber Of Commerce President Marilyn Ladner joined Mayor Merritt as the map-holder for the presentation.
     When County Commission Chairman John Meeks asked Whitehurst if she had time to help in this project, she said she is able to fit it into her work schedule.
     In a matter related to recreation in Inglis, County Coordinator Wilbur Dean announced that everyone is invited to the FDEP, Division of Recreation and Parks meeting in the Inglis Community Center on Nov. 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Combined effort keeps
Veterans Day Parade
safe in Williston

Most of the law enforcement officers responsible for keeping the public safety are seen meeting before the start of the parade. At the front of the room and facing the group is Williston Police Department Deputy Chief Clay Connolly. WPD Lt. Matthew Fortney and Levy County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Max Long of the LCSO Community Relations Division are at the door and outside of the door respectively.

Story, Photo and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © November 12, 2017 at 3:57 p.m.
At least 14 paid and 25 volunteer law enforcement officers kept the Levy County Veterans Day Parade safe in Williston on Veterans Day (Saturday, Nov. 11).
     Williston Police Department Deputy Chief Clay Connolly, WPD Lt. Matthew Fortney and Levy County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Max Long of the LCSO Community Relations Division coordinated the efforts of the six Florida Highway Patrol participants (three regular and three auxiliary) and others.

In this very short video that shows one part of the parade, some people are seen throwing candy while others walk along and give things to the people watching the parade.

Mike Mackley, a United States Army veteran and his wife Rebecca Mackley, a United States Marine Corps veteran, are among the visitors who came to watch the parade from their home county of Marion County

Looking north from the Walgreen’s on Noble Avenue (U.S. Alt. 27) the first part of the parade is seen coming from State Road 121).

Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum and his wife Kandy McCallum are among the participants in the parade.

The Williston High School unit of the Army Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps march in the parade. The WHS AJROTC Color Guard led this group and served as the color guard for this Veterans Day Parade. The color guard photo and more than 30 other phots from this parade are on the Facebook Page of

     There were 100 percent volunteer law enforcement officers from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocala Police Department and the members of the LCSO Citizens On Patrol (COP).
     The City of Williston hosted the Annual Veteran’s Day Celebration, which opened with a 30 minute parade.
     The celebration continued at the Heritage Park Pavilion.
     Even though all parade participants were told in no uncertain terms that “participants may hand out items during the parade but are prohibited from throwing items and candy from the floats,” there were some who still threw candy out on the road and children scrambled to collect it.
     While the candy-throwing action is said to have posed a potential danger to children, there were no reported injuries.
     A parade in Bell the day before honored veterans in Gilchrist County.


Dr. Kenneth A. Schwiebert, a dentist from Williston, rides in the driver seat of a cart full of veterans. Walking beside the cart is another veteran.

United States Army Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Seckinger and family are part of the parade.

AmVets Post 88 Riders of Bronson participate.

Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks rides in a golf cart with his children and on the back Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt adds to this unit in the parade. Brooks, a former Williston City Council member, is from District 5 which includes Williston.

A United States Coast Guard vessel from the station in Yankeetown helps represent this part of the military.

Some older, classic United States Army vehicles are shown in the parade by collectors.

A Williston Fire Rescue engine is among the fire trucks in the parade. There were also units from Bronson Fire Rescue and the Levy County Department of Public Safety (Levy Fire Rescue).

This photo includes an inset of a photo of Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones. The pickup truck representing her office in this parade is driven by her husband Jimmy Jones, a veteran of the United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Seabees. Jimmy Jones now leads the efforts of Levy County Construction, and this group of workers is renowned for their excellent workmanship on county government projects.

Regional General Hospital’s (RGH) Chief Operations Officer Tilman Mears drives the truck pulling an impressive float as RGH of Williston continues showing its community involvement in the city.

The RGH float lets veterans know the hospital appreciates their service.

There was a car show at Otter Springs Park and Campground in Gilchrist County at the same time as this event, however these cars seen here are among those driven in the Veterans Day Parade in Williston rather than being there. There were many other opportunities throughout the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties to honor American veterans.

Three Williston Police cruisers, including one driven by Deputy Chief of Police Clay Connolly are among the last units in the parade.

For more photos from this event, please visit the Facebook page of

Dixie County Bears beat
Lafayette Hornets 49-7
in regional semifinal game

The Bears’ banner reading ‘Tell your girlfriends you’ll be free next Friday!’ shows a prediction that was on target.

Bears enter to start the game.
Story and Photos
By Alison Pataky, © Nov. 12, 2017 at 1:37 p.m.
Intern Student Journalist
     CROSS CITY --
The Dixie County High School Bears Varsity Football Team defeated the Lafayette County High School Hornets 49-7 in a Florida High School Athletic Association Class A1 varsity football regional semifinal game on Friday night (Nov. 10).
 After a slow start in the first quarter, the Bears easily dominated on both sides of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage for nearly the entire game.
     The Bears’ strong rushing attack led their offense, allowing senior quarterback Aaron Dawson to remain comfortable and take few chances with the football. Running back Carlos Williams led the Bears on the ground with in excess of 180 yards and two touchdowns.
     James Smith was another big playmaker for the home team, scoring two touchdowns as well, both on long passes from Dawson.

Bears cheerleaders chat and enjoy pizza prior to kickoff.

Bears punter C.J. Reed (10) and kicker Wyatt Higginbotham (57) are seen off the field.

The Dixie County Redcoat Regiment performs patriotic songs during halftime in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Offensive linemen Aaron Weeks (74), Justin Lund (85), and Jarrod Watson (78) remain focused on the game.

DCHS Bears Head Varsity Football Coach Eric Richeson addresses his team on the field after Friday’s victory.

     The DCHS defense held the Hornets to under 120 yards, shutting Lafayette down after a promising drive in the first quarter. The Hornets drove 78 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first quarter on a 15-yard pass by Jaxson Beach to receiver Kerby Hanson.
     After the first quarter, the Hornets were unable to generate much offensively, save for a few good plays.
Bears Head Varsity Football Coach Eric Richeson is confident heading into next week’s game against the Madison County Cowboys.
      “Madison’s a great football team, they’re well coached, and we’ve got a pretty good team here in Dixie too,” Coach Richeson said. “So we’re going to go in there, have a great week of practice and put the game plan together.”
     He credits his 18 seniors with the Bears’ win over the Hornets, especially the offensive line.
      “I thought the offensive line did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” he said. “At times they got a little sloppy, but as the game went on I thought we got better.”
     Coach Richeson continued by saying that the key to success against Madison County is to stay focused.
      “It’s going to be laser focus this week, trying to get a game plan together… And they’re good, they have a tough schedule, just like us… We just have to go out and play the game.”
     Next Friday (Nov. 24), the Dixie County Bears will play the Madison County Cowboys at a neutral location in the FHSAA Regional tournament finals. Elsewhere in the FHSAA regional semifinals, the Williston Red Devils lost to the Pahokee Blue Devils 41-17, and the Trenton Tigers (now a Class 4A team) lost to the Dunnellon Tigers 49-7.
      The state FHSAA Class 1A state semifinals in football are set for Nov. 24 and the championship game is slated for Dec. 7.
     Publisher’s note: Alison Pataky is an Intern Student Journalist for She is a student at Santa Fe College. To contact Alison, her e-mail address is

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

TUESDAY  Nov. 21  7:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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