Tiffany Mongo wins

In this video, Goldy and Inky the cats Hardison select a winner. The cats have been in training for this big moment. The cats did their job.

Story, Video and Photo
By Jeff and Sharon Hardison
© March 25, 2017 at 10:17 a.m., All Rights Reserved
Goldy and Inky the cats Hardison selected a winner this morning (Saturday, March 25) at about 7:30 a.m. in The Inkpad, which is nestled in the midst of Jemlands, an unrecorded subdivision in the unincorporated area of Levy County.
     The Levy County Fair ticket contest started on March 2 and ended last night (March 24) at 11:59 p.m.
     Tiffany L. Mongo won four gate admissions and four armbands for unlimited rides for one day at the 2017 Levy County Fair, courtesy of and the Levy County Fair Board.

Jeff Hardison watches as Goldy and Inky make their choice.
This still photo is from a frame of the video taken by Sharon Hardison
     The contest showed two tickets and two armbands as the prize being offered, however the Levy County Fair Board made the prize even better by its donation of four tickets and armbands. added $40 in cash so the winner can enjoy some of the delicious fair food available there.
     In her entry, Mongo noted “I love the Levy County Fair because it's local and good fun for my family. We enjoy the rides, music, games, and I especially enjoy the FOOD!!!”
     Mongo was the winner after both Goldy and Inky the cats picked her name from pieces of paper with the names of the competing entrants.
     The cats performed their jobs very well, without even being coaxed into action by a laser pointer, which in some former selection processes was aimed at stacks of paper strips.
     The method to qualify for the contest was to note why the person enjoys the Levy County Fair, and to send an email with a name and phone number.
     Individuals who followed those directions between March 2 and 24 had their names entered into the contest.
      The Levy County Fair is happening from March 30 (Thursday) through April 2 (Sunday) this year. The hours are from 4-10 p.m. Thursday; 4-midnight Friday; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday; and noon-9 p.m. Sunday.

Blue Springs Park
opens for spring break;

Dates listed for
two county parks’ openings

Published March 23, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
on the Leisure Page
     BRONSON --
There are a couple of Levy County parks that are only open seasonally and the season is here for one, and fast-approaching for the other.
     Blue Springs Park is then going to be open from March 24 until May 22 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
     Henry Beck Park, 3770 S.E. Levy County Road 343, near Gulf Hammock, opens April 1 through May 22 and it will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
     Both parks will be open seven-days-a-week beginning May 26, and by then the weather should be very good for swimming in the clear, clean spring water.
     The parks open at 10 a.m. and they close at 7:30 p.m. Admission costs $2.
     For more information about Blue Springs Park, please call 352-486-3303. For more information about Henry Beck Park, please call 352-486-5326.

Ryleigh Locke wins
Grand Champion Heifer

Grand Champion Heifer honors were won by Ryleigh Locke of Kountry Kids 4-H Club. Pictured above are grandfather Dale Locke, Show Judge Lawson Mozley, Laurie and Dallas Locke, Abbie Claire Locke (hidden behind heifer's head), Ryleigh Locke and Heifer Show Superintendent Lint Jerrels.

Reserve Champion Heifer exhibitor Gabe Mitchell of the Gilchrist County Buccaneers 4-H Club is pictured. From the left are Casey Mitchell, Briar Mitchell, Show Judge Lawson Mozley, Cynthia Mitchell, Gabe Mitchell and Heifer Show Superintendent Lint Jerrels.

Heifer Show Judge Lawson Mozely carefully examines a class of heifers.

Story and Photos
By Terry Witt
Senior Reporter © March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
Ryleigh Locke, 9, a budding Bronson cattle exhibitor, won Grand Champion Heifer honors Saturday (March 11) at the Suwannee River Fair Livestock Show and Sale using genes from a bull that died two years ago.
     Her father, Dallas Locke, the FFA advisor and agriculture instructor at Chiefland High School, said the heifer began life as a flushed embryo fertilized by frozen sperm from his favorite bull, Northern Improvement.
     “He’s been deceased a couple of years. We put some old school genetics back in our herd,” Locke said. “He’s my favorite bull of all time.”
     The Bronson heifer was grown on the Locke family farm and therefore won the Homegrown Grand Champion honors as well. The Reserve Champion Heifer was exhibited by Gabe Mitchell of Gilchrist County.
     The homegrown competition wasn’t needed because the two winners of the main heifer competition were homegrown.
     Ryleigh won Grand Champion honors with her feeder steer last year, an artificially inseminated animal. Most of the family’s cattle are Angus with a few registered Angus with Brahma and crossbred influence.
     Ryleigh, daughter of Dallas and Emily Robinson Locke, works hard at being an exhibitor. Hours of work are part of her every afternoon as she walks the steer, washes it and blow dries it.
     This routine has helped to tame the animal. She has shown the heifer in eight competitions this year. Her dedication paid off in the show ring Saturday as the sometimes unpredictable heifer walked around like an obedient pet dog.
     The heifer was standing in front of Ryleigh as the interview took place. Grandfather Dale Locke was holding the halter. Dale and Dallas Locke said the heifer has been known to get wild from time to time, but Ryleigh knows how to handle her.
      “It seems like every time she (the heifer) gets wild at the house; when we go to a show she acts like a puppy dog,” he said. “We’re always nervous because we never know when she’s going to blow up.”
     Showing cattle is a family talent. Dallas began showing his first Angus heifer purchased by his grandfather when he was 8 years old. Ryleigh showed a feeder steer for the first time last year at the same age.
     Ryleigh, a fourth grader at Bronson Elementary School, said she likes working with cattle and she will probably be recognized by the school when she returns to Bronson Elementary with her second consecutive grand champion trophy from the Suwannee River Fair.
     She said the SRF is her favorite show.


Hunter Sharp wins
two championship titles again
at the Suwannee River Fair

Brooke Batey (left) won Grand Champion in Beginner Walk and Trot and Elexis Pinkard won Reserve Champion. Both are members of the Bridle Brigade 4-H Club of Levy County.

Hunter Sharp (left) won Grand Champion Performance in the Junior Division and Aari Grant won Reserve Champion in Performance.

Hunter Sharp (left) won Grand Champion Speed in the Junior Division and Jacy Roux won Reserve Champion Speed.

Madison Baynard (left) won Grand Champion Speed in the Senior Division and Carson Hardee won Reserve Champion Speed.

Burlynne Mejeris (left) won Grand Champion Performance in the Senior Division and Madison Baynard won Reserve Champion Performance.

Jacy Roux rounds the corner in barrels competition.

Reese Solowski, 9, takes a sharp corner as she looks ahead to the remainder of the course.

Horse Show Judge Rebecca Ten Broeck evaluates a group of Junior Division riders in Performance.

Olivia Kofmehl, 12, of Citrus County shows off a saddle horn of ribbons for her performances in the horse show. She belongs to the Outdoors Adventure 4-H Club in Morriston.

Story and Photos
By Terry Witt
Senior Reporter © March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
The annual Suwannee River Fair Horse Show produced plenty of champions Saturday (March 11), and 12-year-old Hunter Sharp was a double champion for the second consecutive year, winning Grand Champion in Speed and Grand Champion in Performance both years in the Junior Division.
     Sharp said he began riding horses when he was just 1 year old. His mother and father, Donna Quincey and Bud Sharp, taught him everything he knows about the sport, he said.
     The Chiefland Elementary School sixth grader gave his 18-year-old horse King credit for winning the four championships.
      “He’s an all-around good horse. He had my back in many situations,” Hunter said.
     When asked whether King sometimes takes charge if he isn’t doing the right thing in competition, Hunter said they work together.
      “It definitely takes teamwork,” Hunter said. “Sometimes he corrects me. Sometimes I correct him. It’s all a matter of teamwork.”
     Hunter’s mother said King isn’t good at any one thing.
     “He’s good at a lot of things,” Donna Quincey said, including napping. King appeared to be drowsing off at one point between competitions.
     Hunter is very active in FFA and loves to participate in public speaking. He is dreaming of the future. He plans to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and then he will begin serving in the Navy for six years. His ultimate goal is to the fly with the Blue Angels. After the military, he wants to fly in the private sector.
     His mother Donna has operated a summer horse camp for many years outside Chiefland – down the street from the Levy County Quilt Museum.
     Hunter, a straight-A student who flies with his stepfather Don Quincey, a Chiefland pilot and cattleman, loves flying and plans to become a pilot at the age 15. The 12-year-old said he plans to obtain his license to fly solo by the age of 16.
      “It all started when he was 3 years old; he started talking about wanting to fly,” Donna said.
     Hunter added it started with a little book his mother read to him.
      “He’s goal-oriented and he will do it; there’s no doubt in my mind,” she said. “This kid’s got it together. I’m not bragging, but he’s phenomenal.”
     Hunter does take time for recreation. He loves hunting deer. He hunts dove, too.
      “Anything outdoors I’ll try once,” he said.


First week of Suwannee River
Fair and Livestock Show
and Sale results shared

By Marti Smith of the SRF
Published March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
on the Leisure Page of
The first week of Suwannee River Fair and Livestock Show and Sale results follow.
     Click HERE to see the ad for the SRF on the Calendar Page. Click on the ad to see the SRF website.
Grand Champion - Hannah Quincey - Chiefland Jr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Jacy Roux - Chiefland Middle FFA
Grand Champion - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Carley Bellamy - At Large Levy 4-H
Grand Champion Pullet Pen - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion Pullet Pen - Adysen Burns - Helping Hands 4-H
Grand Champion - Meat Doe - Sams Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Meat Doe - Alaina Blair - Osceola 4-H
Grand Champion - Wether - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Wether - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Costume Contest - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA

1st - Dexton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
2nd - Carley Bellamy - At Large Levy 4-H
1st - Alaina Blair - Osceola 4-H
2nd - Emma Hires - Williston Middle FFA
3rd - Justin Strickland - Bronson FFA (chapter animal)
1st - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
2nd - Kaitlyn Bedford - Bronson Sr. FFA
3rd - Alana Wilkerson - Chiefland Sr. FFA

Grand Champion - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Austin Bagby - Bell Sr. FFA
Grand Champion Dairy Heifer - Easton Douglas - Southern Style 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion Dairy Heifer - Kaylee Douglas - Bell Middle FFA

1st - Elizabeth Bagby - Southern Style 4-H
2nd - Maddie Smith - Southern Style 4-H
3rd - Cayce Sullivan - Southern Style 4-H
1st - Kaylee Douglas - Bell Middle FFA
2nd - Bertha Sutterfield - Bell Middle FFA
3rd - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
1st - Austin Bagby - Bell Sr. FFA
2nd - Madison Holder - Bell Sr. FFA
3rd - Dakota Smith - Bell Middle FFA
Junior Showmanship - Grand Champion - Arri Grant - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion  - Junior Performance - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Champion - Junior Performance - Arri Grant - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion - Junior Speed - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Champion - Junior Speed - Jacy Roux - Chiefland Middle FFA
Senior Showmanship - Grand Champion - Blu Langford - Eastside Explorers 4-H
Grand Champion - Senior Performance - Burlynne Mejeris - Cedar Key FFA
Reserve Champion - Senior Performance - Madison Baynard - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Grand Champion - Senior Speed - Madison Baynard - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Champion - Senior Speed - Karsyn Hardee - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
Grand Champion - Home Grown Heifer - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Home Grown Heifer - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
1st - Savannah Jerrels - Kountry Kids 4-H
2nd - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
3rd - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
1st - Adli Elliott - Lil Farmers 4-H
2nd - Emma Moxley - Williston Middle FFA
3rd - Laina Teague - Buckaroos 4-H
1st - Jarrett Douglas - Bell Sr. FFA
2nd - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
3rd - Taylor Dean - Trenton Sr. FFA



Operatic tenor to provide
free lecture in Ocala on March 29

Wes Hunter

Story and Photo Provided
By CF Public Relations and Marketing
Published March 9, 2017 at 9:07 p.m.
on the Leisure Page of
     OCALA --
Sarasota Opera apprentice and tenor Wes Hunter will give a vocal music lecture Wednesday, March 29, at 12:30 p.m. in the Dassance Fine Arts Center, Room 122, at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road.
     In his lecture, “Growing Up Bel Canto: The Effects of the Italian Style and Repertoire on the Young Voice,” Hunter will explore the vocal music of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and how this repertoire and technique benefits young singers.
     Hunter, a CF alumnus, praised for his drama, heart and shining tone, regularly performs both high bel canto repertoire and new music.
     After graduating from CF, Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and master’s degree in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory.
     As an artist, he has worked with conductors including Willie Anthony Waters (Florida Grand Opera), Imre Palló (Budapest State Opera) and Lidiya Yankovskaya (Juventas New Music Ensemble). Hunter most recently performed with Beth Morrison Projects, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Juventas New Music Ensemble, OperaWorks (Advanced Artist Program) MetroWest Opera and the Boston Pops Holiday Tour.
     This lecture is free and no tickets are necessary. Call the CF Box Office for more information, 352-873-5810.

Kayaking fishermen invited
to compete in tournament

A couple of kayak paddlers with fishing poles are seen in the Gulf of Mexico off of Cedar Key recently. These fishermen may want to compete and help efforts of the Lions Club in Yankeetown in April. There is a discount for people who register to compete before March 22.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © March 6, 2017

Published March 6, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2017 at 9:07 a.m.
on the Leisure Page of
The 6th Annual Nature Coast Challenge -- a catch, photograph and release kayak-based fishing tournament hosted by the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club -- is scheduled to be held Saturday April 22.
     Canoes and other non-motorized watercraft also may be used for this event.
     The Captain’s Meeting is set to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at the Lions Club, 22 59th St. in Yankeetown.
     Everyone is invited to compete to catch and record by a photo the longest individual Redfish or Trout, the Grand Slam (combined length redfish/trout) or the “Mixed Bag” to win cash, trophies and prizes.
     Second and third place winners are to be recognized with awards as well.
     There is a Junior Angler prize for participants 18 years and younger.
     This event is for everyone!
     The donation to participate is $60.
     A fish fry dinner will be provided at the Captain’s Meeting for all participants who have registered. There are also tournament tee-shirts and captains' bags for the participants.
     Visit the Tournament website - for complete details and the application or call 352-505-7936.

SUNDAY  MARCH 26  8:07 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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