.For Instant, Up-To-Date Weather,
Click on the Icon to the Right  >>>>>>>


Sheriff Bobby Schultz Offers Input

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz participates in Gov. Rick Scott's Law Enforcement Work Group to Keep Florida Students Safe, which was held at the Florida Sheriffs Association headquarters in Tallahassee. Approximately 40 state and local law enforcement officials, along with representatives from the Governor's Office and Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office, assembled to discuss plans and initiatives for immediate and long-term solutions that would help protect children and school employees. Sheriff Schultz spoke about the needs of Gilchrist County and other rural counties as it pertains to training, funding and mandatory, regular school safety assessments conducted by outside entities (law enforcement, or professional equivalent), and the feasibility of creating a Training Task Force of Florida Sheriff's Office specifically for active shooter response for law enforcement. Schultz reiterated his call for more funding for the state’s Safe School funding. Among the other issues discussed included Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County providing details of his county's Sentinel program, which allows sheriffs’ offices to train armed, volunteers to stand guard at school property, specifically to detour and respond in the event of an active shooting incident. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtietri expressed concern about the process to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally-impaired persons. Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard County discussed the needs of training initiatives. Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley discussed needs to fortify schools to make them more secure, as well as the need to have a deputy sheriff in all public schools. Sheriff Schultz said the discussions were both beneficial and productive, and that the issues brought forth are all being addressed.
Published Feb.20, 2018 at 1:28 p.m.

Photo and Information Provided by Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz


More Below This Ad


 


Black history
shared in Levy County


Clerk of the Court Danny Shipp and Carolyn Cohens pose just before the program begins.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 18, 2018 at 8:48 p.m.
    BRONSON –
The 17th Annual Levy County Black History Month program was held in Courtroom A of the Levy County Courthouse on Friday (Feb 16).




In this video, Johnnie Lee Phillips sings the song In Times Like These, which was written by Ruth Caye Jones in 1943.


In this painting by Carolyn Cohens, she shows all of the children, ‘red and yellow, black and white,’ are loved by Jesus. They are all carrying the American flag, which is being blown by the wind.


 (from left) Sheriff Bobby McCallum, community leader Bob Williams and Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison are seen just before the start of the program.

    In some past years, it has been presented in the Levy County Commission Meeting Room.
    Every year, this program has been thanks to the efforts of Levy County Clerk of the Court Danny Shipp and renowned artist, author and historian Carolyn Cohens of Chiefland.
     Cohens attended Chiefland Junior High School and graduated from Williston Vocational High School.
     This year, the following people were honored Dwayne Williams and his father Tucker Williams Jr.; Ida Bell Littles Phillips; Lashae Smith; Katrina Cohens; Larthay and Millie Richardson;
Clyde Bowers and Joe Jenkins.
HISTORY
     This marks the eighth year when HardisonInk.com covered the event – every year since the daily news website began.   
     During the past 17 years, the Cohens-Shipp program has highlighted various members of the Levy County community who were valuable contributors to the whole of the county.
     Clerk of the Court Shipp welcomed everyone and recognized Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones, Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison, School Board Member Chris Cowart and Bob Williams, a significant member of the Levy County area who recently retired and moved to Gainesville, although he remains very active as a volunteer in Chiefland and elsewhere in Levy County.+++++
     Another elected official at the event on Thursday was Chiefland Vice Mayor Chris Jones.
   Shipp spoke about the program and some of the Levy County Courthouse history.
     “I’ll tell you some of the things you’ll see and hear today,” Shipp said. “You’ll hear the Lord being praised.”
    He said listeners will hear expressions of gratitude to some of the people who helped develop Levy County into what it is today.
     At one point after Levy County came to be with the establishment of Florida as a state in 1845, there was a time when the unincorporated area known as Levyville was the home of the courthouse.
     Shipp said he recently moved to Levyville from Bronson and lives within a quarter of a mile of the former site of the courthouse.
     Courtroom A was built in Bronson in 1936, after the first courthouse burned down, Shipp said. Since then, the county leaders have added structures to that center-point.
     “We’ve always been proud of this courtroom,” he said.
     This is one of the few courtrooms in all of Florida that has seating for 21 members of the Grand Jury as well as seating on the other side for 12 members of the regular jury.
     Carolyn Cohens was noted by Shipp to be the director of this annual program.
     Cohens said the theme of Black History Month in Levy County this year is “Ancestry in Education.”
     “Our older people worked very hard to make it possible for what we have today,” Cohens said. “Our younger ones have no idea of what it was like in the past.”
     By progressing through the trials and tribulations endured by older Americans, things have changed for the betterment of everyone, she said.
     “Doors have opened,” Cohens said, “but we have so much further to go.”
     The author wrote two books on the people of Levy County. One is Levy County, Florida (Black America), published Jan. 23, 2006; and the other is Levy County (Images of America), published Nov. 30, 2009.
     Following are the people featured in the program this year.


Carolyn Cohens holds a photo of Dwayne Williams when he was a deputy as Dwayne Williams speaks about his father.


DWAYNE WILLIAMS AND HIS FATHER TUCKER WILLIAMS JR.
     Dwayne Williams of Williston graduated from Williston High School in 1982. He was the first honoree to speak at the program this year.
     Cohens presented American flag pins to the honorees or their family representatives and she gave certificates of appreciation to the participants as well.
     Williams said he is thankful to Cohens for honoring him and his father in this program, and he thanked everyone in the audience for attending.
     On June 18, he said, he and his wife Cassandra are celebrating their 30th anniversary, and he is thankful to her for all of the time they have been together.
     Williams said he is also thankful to Sheriff McCallum, because when Williams worked for the Levy County Sheriff’s Office from 1988 to 1995, McCallum was also working there. Williams returned to Alachua County after leaving Levy County. He had been at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office from 1984 to 1988.
     “He was instrumental in my development as a law enforcement officer,” Williams said. “He has a very good and kind heart. And that is what matters – what is in your heart.”
     Dwayne Williams retired from law enforcement in 2013.
     His late father Tucker Williams Jr. was born in Williston, and attended Williston High School. Tucker Williams worked for the Williston Police Department from 1962 until 1980, and then at the LCSO from 1980 until 1988.  Tucker Williams Jr. died on Jan. 15, 2009.
     Tucker Williams Jr. was the first black policeman in Williston when he began there in 1962, his son Dwayne mentioned on Friday, and with that Tucker Williams Jr. was the first minority law enforcement officer in Levy County.
     Dwayne Williams began his law enforcement career at Florida State Prison after he was accepted for a job, even though both he and his older brother applied. Williams soon went to work for the ACSO.
     Dwayne Williams said that his mother and father raised him and his siblings to have respect for themselves, and this in turn results in having respect for all people.
     Tucker Williams helped his children, his son Dwayne said, know that their lives were not to be shaped by the thoughts and deeds of people doing things that were not right.
     Sheriff McCallum said he is glad to have Dwayne as his friend still after all of these years. Sheriff McCallum worked with Tucker Williams as well.
    Tucker Williams was very influential in law enforcement in Levy County, Sheriff McCallum said.
     Dwayne Williams was “an excellent deputy” and “a wonderful deputy” when he was in Levy County, and everyone was sorry to see him return to Alachua County, Sheriff McCallum said, although Alachua County paid more.

IDA BELL LITTLES PHILLIPS
     Irma Phillips Maxwell, Lovelia Phillips Anderson and Johnnie Lee Phillips all spoke well of Ida Bell Littles Phillips, as did Cohens.
     Ida Bell Littles Phillips was born Jan. 8, 1917 in Wilcox. She was married to Pastor John H. Phillips Sr. for 66 years. They had 11 children.
     Maxwell is her daddy’s 16th child and the 11th child of John and Ida Bell Littles Phillips.
     Her mother was “strict but fair.” One of the highlights of the late Ida Bell Phillips, Maxwell said, was when she earned her high school diploma at the age of 91.
     One of Maxwell’s sisters was the math coordinator for the Atlanta Public School System at the time. When the day came for the graduation, there was a class of one graduating, but there was all of the pomp and circumstance as one would expect at any high school graduation ceremony, Maxwell said.
     Anderson said when she earned less than an “A” her mother would question her. She told her mother that she felt the need to pull back on her skills because other children would make fun of her for being smart.
     “So, I learned to be proud of being able to achieve,” Anderson said, “and to do the best job that I could.”
     Anderson said her mother inspired her. At the age of 68, she just recently earned her Associate of Arts degree from Santa Fe College and she intends to complete work to earn her bachelor’s degree.
     Johnnie Lee Phillips said she married into the family, but Ida Bell Phillips treated her like a daughter.
     Ida Bell gave Johnnie Lee some advice. First – don’t have a house full of children. Second – always save something out of each paycheck. Third – “Don’t you spoil that man.”
     “You see my husband sitting at that table,” Johnnie Lee said as she quoted her mother-in-law. “Now he knows I am tired. I cooked the food. He waits for me to fix his plate, and sit it in front of him.”
     Johnnie Lee Phillips said she was the most wonderful mother-in-law she could have hoped to have had.
     At the request of Cohens, Johnnie Lee Phillips sang. The singer said, referring to the shooting deaths of school children two days earlier, that in times like these, we need a Savior. She sang In Times Like These.


Lashae Smith holds a paper as she speaks. In the background is a painting by Carolyn Cohens. The artist spoke about the things that inspired her to make the various paintings.


Lashae Smith is presented with a pin by Carolyn Cohens for participating in the 17th Annual Levy County Black History event.

LASHAE SMITH

     Lashae Smith, 23, graduated from Chiefland High School in 2013, and joined the United States Army that year.
     Still a member of the Army, she is also working to earn a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology.
     As a child, Smith said she learned that through hard work, dedication and prayer, any goal was possible to attain.
     After four years in the Army, Smith said she is ranked among the top five soldiers in her company.
     During her deployment in Africa for a year, she faced significant adversity because she was the only female in a predominantly white unit.
     “Nothing was given to me,” she said. “I had to work hard and earn my way to the top. With my faith and prayer, I knew I would overcome (any obstacle or adversity), and I did.”
     She told listeners that challenges can be the driving factor to inspire a person to keep going, even when they may feel their back is against the wall.
     Smith said she is thankful to Bob Williams, because he presented her with a scholarship at a special ceremony at Buie Park, where she went right after work, still wearing her ‘scrubs” as she was a Certified Nursing Assistant then. Her grandmother had called her to the park, and although she wanted to go home, she listened to her grandmother and went.
     That scholarship helped start her on the way for more education after graduating from CHS.


Carolyn Cohens (left) holds a picture of her daughter Katrina Cohens, when Katrina was younger.

KATRINA COHENS

     Katrina Cohens was born Aug.13, 1973. She was a dancer in the marching band and was a member of the Chiefland High School Varsity Cheerleading Squad. She graduated from CHS in 1991.
     She is the daughter of Carolyn Cohens. Carolyn told stories about her daughter as a child, and how she showed great interest in mathematics.
     Katrina said she would advise young people to listen to their parents.
     Katrina Cohens earned her Master’s in Business Administration at the age of 40, she said. She had a 3.8 GPA.
     Kip Harrison, Community Bank President at Capital City Bank Group Inc. of Gainesville, spoke about Katrina.
     Harrison said he has worked with Katrina for two years.
     She is responsible for the management of the three Capital City Bank offices in Gainesville, Harrison said.
     “She’s been in the banking industry for about 20 years,” Harrison said, “and the last 10 of those she has been at Capital City Bank.”
     Her responsibilities include operations, administration and staffing for the Gainesville offices of Capital City Bank.
     Harrison said Katrina Cohens has used her talent to identify issues quickly, and to create best practices for the organization. She has helped to foster an environment of diversity and inclusion, he said.
     Harrison expressed his gratitude for being to invite to speak about his colleague.


(from left) Franklin Schuler Jr., a Democrat seeking to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, District 2 Florida; Juan Henley, a teacher in Gilchrist County; and Marjorie Henley, Juan’s mother and the daughter of Larthay Richardson, speak about the Richardosn family.

LARTHAY AND MILLIE RICHARDSON

     Millie Richardson was among the teachers who helped Carolyn Cohens learn math long ago. Larthay Richardson was in the Masons, Cohens said, and he was the father of Cohens’ sister – Marjorie Henley.
   Marjorie Henley said her father Larthay Richardson was always seen with his wife Millie.
    Juan Henley said that even though Millie Richardson was his step-grandmother, she always treated him as her own grandson. In fact, he added jokingly, he was certain that he was her favorite.
     He said that his grandmother would watch the news and would worry about things. Before his first trip to Europe, he said, there was an avalanche somewhere. Therefore, he did not want to tell her about his plan to travel there.
     Juan Henley mentioned that he was able to visit all seven continents so far in his life. He enjoys traveling.
     He also said he is proud of his Aunt Carolyn, the author and illustrator. He tells his students about his aunt.
     Franklin Schuler Jr. is a member of the extended Richardson family. He spoke about the heritage of the family that moved to Gulf Hammock from South Carolina many decades ago.
      At the end of the part of the program honoring the many people who were brought forward to honor for their service to education in Levy County, family members from the families of Clyde Bowers and Joe Jenkins shared entertaining stories too.
     Carolyn Cohens gave people in the audience an opportunity to share their input, and she presented certificates of recognition to Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones, Levy County School Board Member Chris Cowart and Levy County Tourist Development Council Director Tisha Whitehurst
     After the event, Whitehurst served cookies and lemonade to guests in the lobby of the courthouse.


Carolyn Cohens (left) presents certificates of recognition to Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones (green blouse), Levy County School Board Member Chris Cowart (light brown coat) and Levy County Tourist Development Council Director Tisha Whitehurst


Levy County Tourist Development Council Director Tisha Whitehurst prepares to serve people cookies and lemonade.


Gilchrist County school
properties reopen Saturday

By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 16, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.
     TRENTON --
Although Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools Robert Rankin announced that Gilchrist County schools were closed Friday (Feb. 16), Sheriff Bobby Schultz and Superintendent Rankin announced Friday night that school activiesthat had been scheduled for the weekend through the Monday holiday and teacher workday will continue as planned.
     Any games, extracurricular or previously planned administrative activities from Saturday (Feb. 17) through Tuesday (Feb. 20) are on a normal schedule again, and with the resumption of regular classes on Wednesday (Feb. 21), the current plan is for normal school academc operations to resume in Gilchrist County as well.
     Levy County and Dixie County schools were open Friday, and there is no notice of those counties changing normal operations. The Dixie County Sheriff's Office arrested a suspected adult male thief late Friday afternoon. That suspect is alleged to have stolen things from a middle school locker room in Dixie County on Thursday.
     School in Gilchrist County was cancelled for Friday (Feb. 16) due to "an email threat," according to Gilchrist County Sheriff Schultz.
     There are no school classes Saturday and Sunday. The Monday holiday is being observed and Tuesday is a planned "Teacher Work Day."
     Like other Florida sheriffs, Sheriff Schultz plans to continue to uphold the laws of the state, including laws that are meant to prevent people from threatening, hurting or killing others.
     Rankin and Schultz felt the safest method for Friday was to keep students away from the schools in Gilchrist County due to the danger they perceived from the "email threat."


 

Levy County schools
stay open Friday;

Arrest made in South Carolina

By Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum
and Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison
Published Feb. 16, 2018 at 6:28 a.m.
     PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
The following was sent by Levy County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Tummond at 12:08 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 16).
~
     The following message is being sent as a combined notification with our partners in the Levy County School Board. Please know that both the Sheriff's Office and the Levy County School Board take the safety and security of "OUR" children when both on and off our campuses very serious. WE will react quickly and appropriately to any and all real or perceived threats.
     Good Afternoon Parents,    
     This evening Gilchrist County and other school districts in Florida received a threat that they could not verify and Gilchrist closed schools.  The School Board of Levy County has not received this threat.  The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is monitoring social media and investigating any suspicious activity concerning Levy County schools.
     Currently a viral photo is being passed around through Snapchat.  This photo has been reported to the LCSO as well as other Florida law enforcement agencies. The photo has been addressed by authorities in South Carolina and an arrest was made. We want to thank our parents for helping us keep our vigil and ensure the safety of all our children.
     The LCSO and the Levy County School Board sends this strong message to anyone who makes a threat of violence directed toward our children and our schools. “We will seek you out, arrest you and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law will allow us to."
     Parents, students and concerned citizens. Please, if you see something, say something. Report suspicious activity to the LCSO at 352-486-5111 or if it is an emergency call 9-1-1.
Sheriff Bobby McCallum
Superintendent Jeff Edison

 



School superintendent explains
east Levy County
school property situation

By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 14, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison shared information about the county's property in eastern Levy County during a telephone interview Tuesday (Feb. 13).
     Pastor Johnnie Jones III of the Ministerial Faith Alliance (MFA) told the Williston City Council recently that he would like the city to accept the Williston Middle School (WMS) property from the School Board and then give it to the MFA, because he has a plan to help the community by using that land and buildings, which are currently for sale by the county.
     Jones has expressed his opinion based on his understanding of Florida law and past rulings in other school districts that the Levy County School Board could simply give the property to the MFA, because the non-profit charitable organization plans to use the land and buildings for the general welfare of the community members of the area.
     Superintendent Edison said the School Board cannot give the WMS property to the MFA. The MFA must provide a monetary proposal to purchase the property from the School Board, Edison said.
     Jones first approached former Levy County Superintendent of Schools Robert Hastings with the idea. Both WMS and the former Williston High School (WHS) are abandoned and for sale, since the students began classes at the new Williston Middle High School (WMHS) campus.
      “We could give that facility to another public agency,” Edison said.” We cannot give it to individuals or a group of individuals.”
     Edison said Jones was told when Hastings was superintendent that the price was $2 million for the WMS campus and buildings, Edison said. He added that the School Board could have a public auction to accept bids on the property, but it has not done that yet.
     Private interests have looked at the property, Edison said, but there are no offers to buy WMS right now.
      “To Johnnie Jones and his group, I said ‘Bring us a proposal,’” Edison said. “They have never brought us anything.”
     Edison said he would like to see a written proposal from the MFA if it wants the property, and the School Board has asked the city if it is interested in accepting the property. Edison said the School Board would like to move on with working toward giving the property to the city or selling it to another entity.
     In an interview with School Board Member Chris Cowart on Monday (Feb. 12), Cowart said that the School Board has not heard from Pastor Jones or the MFA about a particular plan for the future use of that property.
     Edison said the School Board sees the property could be a good asset for the city, or the School Board would like to sell the property to have dollars for capital improvements – especially for a football field and stadium at the new WMHS.
     The new WMHS was built without a football field, Edison said, because it was built with special facilities funding from the Florida Legislature.
      “So, when we sell that property (WMS and WHS),” Edison said, “our first order of business is that we will build those athletic facilities with those dollars. That’s what we are trying to do.”
     When he was asked about the School Board’s interest if it gave the WMS property to the City of Williston, he shared insight about history of land the Levy County School Board owns now in Williston.
     The current Williston High School Baseball Field is away from the former campus of WHS and from the WMHS campus.
     The baseball field is located near to Southeast Sixth Street and Southeast First Avenue (behind the Dollar General Store on East Noble Avenue {U.S. Alt 27}).
     Years ago, Edison said, the Levy County School Board leased the property of the baseball field from the City of Williston. The price of the lease increased to the point, however, where the School Board said it would build a stadium for the people of the community and then take possession of the property.
     On some maps, the property is named “Epperson Park.”
     The multi-year Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Champion WHS Red Devils Baseball Team is scheduled for eight games on that home field this season, a WMHS receptionist said on Wednesday.
     MaxPreps shows the baseball season just started.
     In this same manner, Edison said, he believes the School Board of Levy County would like the WMS property to be used for the community of Williston.
     Superintendent of Schools Edison said he can review a proposal from the MFA or from the City of Williston and then he will make a recommendation to the School Board.
     It will be up to the five Levy County School Board members to decide to whom to sell or to give the WMS property, Edison said.
     The current Levy County School Board is comprised of Chairman Cameron Asbell, Dist. 1 Bronson; Dist. 2 Cedar Key – Chris Cowart; Dist. 3 Williston – Vice Chairman Brad Etheridge;
Dist. 4 Chiefland - Paige Brookins; and Dist. 5 Yankeetown - Rick Turner.
     The final decision on how to dispose of the WMS property, and the WHS property for that matter, rests on Asbell, Cowart, Etheridge, Brookins and Turner currently.
     In 2018, the following offices are up for election by the voters of Levy County: School Board – Dist. 1 – Asbell, Dist. 3 – Etheridge, and Dist. 5 – Turner.
     In Levy County, Commissioner Rock Meeks (Dist. 2) and Commissioner Lilly Rooks (Dist. 4) are up for election too.
     The seat for Levy County Court Judge J.T. “Tim” Browning is up for election too.
     All five seats on the Levy County Soil and Water Conservation District are up for election.
      As for the WMS property, Edison said the School Board would like the property to benefit the residents and visitor of Williston if the city accepts it from the School Board, Edison said, however it is up to the city to determine how that would happen, if that transaction between the two government bodies was completed.
     In the meantime, the members of the Williston City Council, which is currently comprised of President Charles Goodman, Vice President Nancy Wininger, Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson and Councilman Elihu Ross are scheduled to discuss the MFA and the WMS more at the Feb. 20 meeting.
     That meeting is at the temporary Williston City Hall, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the former WHS Band Room, located in the multipurpose building at 427 W. Noble Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27).
School superintendent explains east Levy County property situation
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 14, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
     BRONSON -- Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison shared information about the county's property in eastern Levy County during a telephone interview Tuesday (Feb. 13).
     Pastor Johnnie Jones III of the Ministerial Faith Alliance (MFA) told the Williston City Council recently that he would like the city to accept the Williston Middle School (WMS) property from the School Board and then give it to the MFA, because he has a plan to help the community by using that land and buildings, which are currently for sale by the county.
     Jones has expressed his opinion based on his understanding of Florida law and past rulings in other school districts that the Levy County School Board could simply give the property to the MFA, because the non-profit charitable organization plans to use the land and buildings for the general welfare of the community members of the area.
     Superintendent Edison said the School Board cannot give the WMS property to the MFA. The MFA must provide a monetary proposal to purchase the property from the School Board, Edison said on Tuesday.
     Jones first approached former Levy County Superintendent of Schools Robert Hastings with the idea. Both WMS and the former Williston High School (WHS) are abandoned and for sale, since the students began classes at the new Williston Middle High School (WMHS) campus.
      “We could give that facility to another public agency,” Edison said.” We cannot give it to individuals or a group of individuals.”
     Edison said Jones was told when Hastings was superintendent that the price was $2 million for the WMS campus and buildings, Edison said. He added that the School Board could have a public auction to accept bids on the property, but it has not done that yet.
     Private interests have looked at the property, Edison said, but there are no offers to buy WMS right now.
      “To Johnnie Jones and his group, I said ‘Bring us a proposal,’” Edison said. “They have never brought us anything.”
     Edison said he would like to see a written proposal from the MFA if it wants the property, and the School Board has asked the city if it is interested in accepting the property. Edison said the School Board would like to move on with working toward giving the property to the city or selling it to another entity.
     In an interview with School Board Member Chris Cowart on Monday (Feb. 12), Cowart said that the School Board as a whole has not heard from Pastor Jones or the MFA about a particular plan for the future use of that property.
     Edison said the School Board sees the property could be a good asset for the city, or the School Board would like to sell the property to have dollars for capital improvements – especially for a football field and stadium at the new WMHS.
     The new WMHS was built without a football field, Edison said, because it was built with special facilities funding from the Florida Legislature.
      “So, when we sell that property (WMS and WHS),” Edison said, “our first order of business is that we will build those athletic facilities with those dollars. That’s what we are trying to do.”
     When he was asked about the School Board’s interest if it gave the WMS property to the City of Williston, he shared insight about history of land the Levy County School Board owns now in Williston, after first mentioning that whatever the city does with the property will be the decision of the city's leaders.
     The current Williston High School Baseball Field is away from the former campus of WHS and away from the new WMHS campus.
     The baseball field is located near to Southeast Sixth Street and Southeast First Avenue (behind the Dollar General Store on East Noble Avenue {U.S. Alt 27}).
     Years ago, Edison said, the Levy County School Board leased the property of the baseball field from the City of Williston. The price of the lease increased to the point, however, where the School Board said it would build a stadium for the people of the community and then take possession of the property.
     The multi-year Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Champion WHS Red Devils Baseball Team is scheduled for eight games on that home field this season, a WMHS receptionist said on Wednesday (Feb. 14).
     MaxPreps shows the baseball season just started, although that service listed zero home games for the Red Devils as of Wednesday.
     As far as the two government entities trading property, it is in this same manner, Edison said, that he believes the School Board of Levy County would like the WMS property to be used for the community of Williston via the city owning it.
     Superintendent of Schools Edison said he can review a proposal from the MFA or from the City of Williston and then he will make a recommendation to the School Board.
     It will be up to the five Levy County School Board members to decide to whom to sell or to give the WMS property, Edison said.
     The current Levy County School Board is comprised of Chairman Cameron Asbell, Dist. 1 Bronson; Dist. 2 Cedar Key – Chris Cowart; Dist. 3 Williston – Vice Chairman Brad Etheridge;
Dist. 4 Chiefland - Paige Brookins; and Dist. 5 Yankeetown - Rick Turner.
     The final decision on how to dispose of the WMS property, and the WHS property for that matter, rests on Asbell, Cowart, Etheridge, Brookins and Turner currently.
     In 2018, the following county offices are up for election by the voters of Levy County: School Board – Dist. 1 – Asbell, Dist. 3 – Etheridge, and Dist. 5 – Turner.
     In Levy County, Commissioner Rock Meeks (Dist. 2) and Commissioner Lilly Rooks (Dist. 4) are up for election on the Board of County Commissioners.
     The seat for Levy County Court Judge J.T. “Tim” Browning is up for election too.
     All five seats on the Levy County Soil and Water Conservation District are up for election.
     As for the WMS property, Edison said the School Board would like the property to benefit the residents and visitor of Williston if the city accepts it from the School Board. It is up to the city to determine how that would happen, Edison said, if that transaction between the two government bodies was completed.
     In the meantime, the members of the Williston City Council, which is currently comprised of President Charles Goodman, Vice President Nancy Wininger, Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson and Councilman Elihu Ross are scheduled to discuss the MFA and the WMS more at the Feb. 20 meeting.
     That meeting is at the temporary Williston City Hall, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the former WHS Band Room, located in the multipurpose building at 427 W. Noble Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27).
     There are four Williston City Council members now, rather than five members, because former City Councilman Kori Lamb moved out of the city limits.
     A Special City Election of the City of Williston is currently scheduled to on April 10, to electing one City Council member, for the remainder of his unexpired two-year term which began April 11, 2017. The Group “A” term expires on April 8, 2019. Candidates for the "Group A" seat may make application for City Council with a $5 fee, plus a $24 Election Assessment Fee to the City Clerk anytime between noon on Monday, Feb. 19, and noon on Friday, Feb. 23.
     If more than one candidate qualifies, the special election is scheduled for April 10 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the temporary Williston City Hall 427 W. Noble Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27), in the multipurpose building of the former WHS.


Dixie County deputy
honored for saving lives

Dixie County Deputy Honored For Saving Lives
Dixie County Deputy Samantha Polvere and Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. stand with Deputy Polvere wearing her Service Bars and being presented with her Letter of Commendation from the sheriff.

Story and Photo
By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published Feb. 13, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.
     CROSS CITY --
In December of last year, deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office were attempting to serve a warrant on an individual when they saw him riding as a passenger in the front of a small extended-cab pickup truck.
     Upon attempting to stop the vehicle, the driver fled -- leading deputies on a high-speed chase through northern Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     The pickup truck crashed into a tree on residential property off of State Road 47 in northern Gilchrist County. When the vehicle came to a stop, the wanted passenger fled on foot with the lead DCSO deputy giving chase on foot.
     As the second deputy arrived, the truck became engulfed in flames. The driver was unconscious in the driver’s seat and two females in the rear seat were unable to climb out of the passenger side due to the flames.
     The second deputy – Dixie County Sheriff’s Deputy Samantha Polvere -- went to the driver’s door and attempted to force the door open, but she was unable to do so.
     After failing to force the door open, Deputy Polvere retrieved a shovel that was on the scene. Then Deputy Polvere got into the back bed of the truck and broke the rear window out with the shovel. After breaking the rear window, Deputy Polvere pulled the two female passengers through the rear window.
     Having rescued the two passengers, Deputy Polvere entered the rear window of the truck where she grabbed the driver and pulled him between the front two seats and out of the rear window.
     All three of those individuals were transported to a hospital in Gainesville by Dixie County for their injuries.
     Deputy Polvere suffered minor injuries during the incident and she was treated at a Gainesville hospital too.
     Since being released from the hospital, two of the passengers reached out to Deputy Polvere and the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office to personally thank Deputy Polvere for her actions.
     Both of those individuals expressed their belief that had it not been for Deputy Polvere’s actions, they would have both died.
     As a result of the investigation into the incident, Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. met with law enforcement staff on the afternoon of Feb. 2 to recognize Deputy Polvere for her actions.
     Sheriff Hatcher presented Deputy Polvere with a Letter of Commendation for her actions on the afternoon of Dec. 20, 2017, and the sheriff of Dixie County presented the deputy sheriff with Service Bars for Valor and Life Saving.
     The Life Saving Bar is awarded to a DCSO member who, under true emergency circumstances, acts to prevent the probable loss of life.
     It is awarded to a DCSO member for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life.
     The Valor Bar is awarded to a DCSO member who distinguishes himself or herself by an act of heroism, or who puts himself or herself in imminent personal danger, and who takes such action(s) with knowledge of the risk(s) involved. The act must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes the member’s courage and has been performed for the purpose of protecting human life.


Old Seminole village
unearthed in Dixie County;

Confederate gold reportedly
still in the Suwannee River

Dale Herring at the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce
H. Dale Herring tells the audience that Willie Johns, Chief Justice of the Seminole Tribal Court of the Brighton Reservation (Glades County) has flown into Dixie County twice by helicopter to see the site.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 11, 2018 at 2:58 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
Members and guests at the monthly meeting of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday (Feb. 8) enjoyed listening to H. Dale Herring speak about his discovery of Seminole Indian artifacts on his property.

 


      As a result of finding pottery and other relics that are a couple of hundred years old and were left by members of the tribe -- and even from British and American soldiers of the time -- Herring has entertained visitors from the Seminole Tribe and from The History Channel.
     Another spinoff from the discovery was becoming the author of the book Bowlegs Town, named for a chief of the tribe back then.
     Darbi Chaires Cupp, a Chamber member who lives in the Old Town area and is a neighbor of the keynote speaker that day, mentioned to Herring during the meeting that she would like to have a copy of his book. He gave her an autographed copy of Bowlegs Town.


Darbi Chaires Cupp accepts the book from the author H. Dale Herring


This is a closer view of the cover of the book.


      Ruth Ann Lovelace and Cindy Bellot provided the lunch for the afternoon meeting. Chicken spaghetti casserole, from a family recipe and cooked by Lovelace, was the main dish.
     Beyond the casserole that was delightfully delicious, there was a broccoli salad, celery sticks stuffed with a special cheese filling, crescent croissants, strawberries and for dessert – magic cookies.
     They are known as magic cookies because they taste buttery, salty and sweet simultaneously. Those cookies are magically, mouthwateringly yummy.
     Chamber President Carol West led the meeting with her own inimitable grace and style. Chamber Treasurer Debbie Dembo provided a positive financial report for the group, showing the Chamber remains fiscally sound.
     Debbie DeWeese, a longtime force in the Dixie County Chamber, provided listeners with a recap from the annual meeting and she reminded folks about dues.
     As far as the Chamber, it is in a very healthy state. The single biggest immediate and relatively urgent need is a set of willing and able volunteers.
     The March 24 Cross City Airport event is fast approaching. The Dixie County Chamber is dishing out some sort of dollars to pay a Gainesville TV station for ads to promote the airport event this year.
     With all of those people driving over to Cross City from Gainesville, it is bound to be even more crowded than when, during the past three years, it has attracted people from the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     President West mentioned that the Chamber joined forces with the Dixie County Tourist Development Council to pay for ads from the TV station. The TDC is funded by a fee that goes into the public coffers from tourists who spend nights in Dixie County.
     Jeff Cary is the committee leader for the airport venture this year, but he missed the monthly Dixie County Chamber of Commerce meeting in February.
     As for Herring, he was happy to share his perspective from finding Seminole and British military relics and remnants from centuries ago.
     He told a story, too, about the lost $25 million worth of gold of the Confederacy. Gold hunters have sought the allegedly missing gold for years – looking mostly on land so far.
     After a boat left Galveston, Tex., with that gold headed for Cuba, “the Yankees” (United States Navy members) followed it and sank it somewhere in the Suwannee River about three miles up from the mouth where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico, Herring said.
    Beyond the fame of being on TV and from being covered in the monthly publication of the Seminole Tribe, and in addition to the fortune of having artifacts as well as the revenue from being an author, Herring hopes to continue his Bowlegs Town adventure of fame and fortune.
    This may happen with help from other developers.
    Herring has proposed that the Florida Legislature amend a bill to allow for archeological mitigation. Currently, when a developer needs to impinge on wetlands, he or she can mitigate the damage by helping wetlands in another part of the state. Herring believes that archeological mitigation could help him in a quest to create a museum and preserve “Bowlegs Town” for tourists to see and for posterity.
     “We found Bowlegs Town,” Herring said as he started his program, “that had been lying dormant for 200 years. We’ve unearthed over 3,000 amazing artifacts.”
     Other items found are from military occupation. Herring has an eagle that was meticulously hand-carved out of an 1809 American 50-cent piece. Herring said he thinks that soldier made it to be a hat pin.
     Willie Johns, Chief Justice of the Tribal Court of the Brighton Reservation (Glades County) has flown in by helicopter twice to see the site, Herring said.
     There have been stories in the monthly publication that is named the Seminole Tribune, he said.
     In the early 1800s, Herring said, Cow Keeper, Billy Bowlegs and Micanopy were among the chiefs living in the Payne’s Prairie area of what became Alachua County.
     They were hunting and fishing and had a large herd of cattle back then, Herring said. They were growing organic crops, long before it became the fad of the day as it is now. Their cattle were not treated by antibiotics and the animals ate on the open range.
     Around 1812, Herring said, militiamen from Georgia came to Payne’s Prairie in an attempt to run the Indians out of the area, because they wanted to take their property and their cattle.
     “The Indians pretty much whipped ‘em and sent ‘em back to Georgia,” Herring said. “But Cow Keeper was a very old and wise chief. He was about 80 years old.
     “He told the Indians,” Herring continued. “He said, ‘Look. They’re going to come back, and they are going to be stronger and more forceful.”
   The chief told the tribe that he knew of another place where there was a beautiful river and springs bubbling out of the ground. The chief said fight the good fight, but if there was a need to relocate, he knew where the tribe should move.
     There is an abundance of game in this new place, Herring said as the chief spoke about Old Town.
     Herring said this chief could have been the first leader of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce, because he knew how to promote the attraction of the resources in the area.
     In 1812, Col. Daniel Newnan was ordered to go to Payne’s Prairie, Herring said. There was a battle. Chief Cow Keeper was shot during the battle and he died later from that wound, Herring said.
     Members of the tribe fled to Old Town with everything they could bring. The Spaniards had been in this part of Florida in the 1770s, Herring said.
     The Spaniards got to Old Town in the 1770s, Herring said. The Indians got there in 1812.
     “And I got there in 1997,” he said.
     The tribe established itself there, he said, with about 200 people.
     For several years, from 1812 to 1818 more or less, they lived in peace. They traded deer skins with the British at Clay Landing, Herring said, in exchange for guns, lead and other British goods. 
     All that went well until United States Army Gen. Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 - June 8, 1845) was ordered to “wipe out the Indians in the First Seminole War,” Herring said. Jackson later went on to become President of the United States of America.
     Herring said two British officers Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister had worked with the Indians in the trade of deer skins for merchandise.
     During a trial where Herring found a transcript, he said an Indian was asked if he ever saw those two British officers. Gen. Jackson was prosecuting the two British soldiers for helping the Indians resist the invading troops from the United States.
     They were charged with helping the Indians in the battles against Jackson’s invading force. This was Spanish territory at the time and they were British officers.
     One of the Indians said he had seen Ambrister, Herring reported the transcript noted. 
     “And what he (Ambrister) would do,” Herring said, “was that he would put his uniform on and parade around the settlement (of Bowlegs Town).”
      About a year ago, Herring said, seven British uniform buttons were found. He is relatively certain those buttons are from Ambrister’s jacket.
    Herring said that when Ambrister was captured by Jackson’s forces, he left his jacket on the ground there.
     The two soldiers were tried for helping the Indians. Jackson had asked U.S. Army Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines to try the men.
     They were found guilty for helping the Indians, Herring said.
     The men were sentenced to 50 lashes and a year of hard labor, Herring said.
     Gen. Jackson said that was not enough of a sentence, Herring said, because they would return to the area after that and restart their trade with the Indians. Jackson sentenced them both to death.
     Gen. Jackson ordered Arbuthnot, an officer in his seventies, to be hanged and Ambrister, an officer in his twenties, to be shot.
     Arbuthnot was hanged from the bow of his boat, Herring said, and Ambrister was shot by a firing squad.
     In 1819, Spain sold Florida to the United States and in 1821 that deal was complete. Herring said that as a real estate broker, he would have closed the deal more quickly but he was not around then.
     The Territory of Florida was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 30, 1822, until March 3, 1845, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Florida.
     In 1997, Herring bought the property in Old Town (Bowlegs Town). Herring later met archeologist John Edwards who used a metal detector and started uncovering relics of the past from the time when the tribe lived where Herring lives today.
    That was the start of the Bowlegs Town adventure that continues today.
     As for Bowlegs Town on television, Herring spoke about a couple of points where he was able to help direct The History Channel’s coverage last summer. At one point his grandson asked to be on TV riding a horse.
     Herring said he and his grandson were pictured for a moment on horseback.
     In another number of seconds of that TV program, Herring told the camera operators that they should come in close when Herring went to greet Chief Justice Johns.
     As the property owner approached the helicopter that landed at his homestead, he mentioned to the tribal justice leader that the last time the Seminoles arrived on the property, they did so by horse and on this occasion, a member of the Seminole tribe had arrived by helicopter.
     One part of Herring’s presentation may have inspired listeners to learn how to scuba dive and to buy underwater metal detectors.
     Herring said that he and his partners have not looked in the river yet to find the $25 million worth of Confederate gold, because the water has been too high and murky; although he intimated that this potential exists – especially since they have found an anchor and some whiskey flasks that could be dated back to that point in Florida history, when the ship reportedly carrying gold was allegedly sunk in the Suwannee River.


DeDee McLeod wins contest

DeDee McLeod holds the winning certificate. She shows her happiness in this photo.

Story, Photo and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 8, 2018 at 2:28 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
DeDee McLeod of Williston won the first contest in the eighth year of HardisonInk.com when a team of cats picked her name from among the eligible applicants on Thursday morning (Feb. 8).



In this video, the cats make the choice. Goldy and Inky are on the move to choose. However, they did seem to take longer than in some contests.

 
     She accepted the $50 gift certificate for Steamer’s Clam Bar and Grill, which is located on Dock Street in Cedar Key.
     Goldy the cat Hardison and Inky the cat Hardison worked to pick the winner. Weather prevented community cat Needles from being the cat to make the pick. Needles is the outdoor community cat of Jemlands – an unrecorded subdivision in Levy County.
     McLeod was the winner from people who entered the contest from far and near. Bob Leichner, one of the business owners in Dixie County who had participated, commented about the contest when he spoke with publisher Jeff M. Hardison.
     Leichner was among the competitors. He jokingly said that if he had the chance, he would have spread tuna on the slip of paper with his name on it.
     Another business owner at the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce meeting in Cross City on Thursday afternoon, Edward Pivacek, said he would donate a $25 gift certificate for use at The Putnam Lodge.

     “HardisonInk.com will continue to be great in Year 8,” Hardison said. “We had a lot of contests in our fifth year. People enjoyed the contests then. Could it be? Will we have more contests? I am predicting another contest will be revealed in the relatively near future and I see a $25 gift certificate for use at The Putnam Lodge as a prize.”

Democrat seeks to replace
Dr. Neal Dunn in Congress


Libby Cagle prepares to introduce Brandon Peters to the audience.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 6, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
Brandon Peters is the first Democratic Party candidate to tell the Action Coalition of Cedar Key about his intent to replace U.S. Rep. (Dr.) Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-District 2 Florida).


Brandon Peters speaks about why he believes he can better serve the people in Congress than the current member of the United States House of Representatives serves the people here.


In this video, Brandon Peters speaks about politicians becoming entrenched in Washington or Tallahassee rather than representing their constituents from the districts from whence they were elected.



Barbara Byrum is the regional campaign coordinator for the candidate.


People listen to the candidate.


     Peters spoke with the coalition Monday night (Feb. 5) when they met on the second floor of the Cedar Key Arts Center, 457 Second St.
     Any number of Democrats or Republicans seeking to show why they should be elected can approach the Action Coalition of Cedar Key as a place to tell about themselves.
     “The mission of the Action Coalition of Cedar Key is to protect our form of representative democracy from all corrupting domestic and foreign influences,” the group notes on its mission statement. The group is not in favor of one party over another.
     During his scheduled hour-long town hall event, which went beyond the 7 p.m. planned ending time so that people could speak to the candidate individually, Peters mentioned that Dunn's staff answers the phone "Dr. Dunn's office."
     Beyond holding fast to his title from have a previously successful practice as a medical doctor, Peters mentioned that Rep. Dunn also has been a lobbyist. Those are parts of some of the many reasons Peters believes he can better serve the people of this 18-county district than Rep. Dunn has so far.
     There are more concrete foundational reasons to pick Peters over Dunn, this candidate showed when voters look at the perspective of having a person to actually represent the people of this part of Florida in the U.S. House.
     Florida's 2nd Congressional District is the largest congressional district in Florida by land area and consists of all of Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Jackson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties, and portions of Columbia, Holmes, Jefferson, Leon and Marion counties.
     Dunn appears by his voting record, Peters said, to be helping the very rich people – the billionaires, when there are not that many billionaires in this part of Florida.
     Peters explained his stance on a number of initial issues as well as giving the listeners a chance to see how he intends to accomplish his job as a representative of the people in Congress. This potential future United States House of Representatives member from Florida's Second District said he expects to be held accountable for his promises made during this campaign.
     The evening started before the 6 p.m. as coalition members socialized and enjoyed some of the delicious hors d'oeuvres and drinks, which were also enjoyed after the main event.
     Libby Cagle introduced Barbara Byrum as the regional campaign manager for Peters. Byrum is also active in the group - Citizens for and Engaged Electorate – which is another group that seeks to help keep America as a free country.
BRANDON PETERS
     Peters, who was born in Jacksonville, grew up in Winter Park (Orange County) and now lives in Williston with his wife Stacey Peters. They each have two sons by different marriages and they have quasi-adopted a fifth boy who is a friend of one of the middle sons.
     That almost-son lost his mother to cancer, and a number of factors led to the couple offering and him accepting them to be his substitute parents. Stacey Peters was unable to attend the get-together that evening, because she is the caregiver for her parents, and her father needed her help that evening.
     Peters told the audience that he has visited all 67 counties of Florida, and he and his wife chose Levy County for their residence. They live near the Goethe State Forest.

POLITICAL STANCE
     Politicians at the federal level, and even at the state level, Peters said, have become “too comfortable” as they are complacent and non-responsive to their constituents.
     It is not just Rep. Dunn, he said, but a number of others who find places to live in Georgetown.
     “They lay down permanent roots,” Peters said, “and they don’t want to come home (from Washington, D.C.).”
     This behavior eventually leads to “abominations such as the tax reform bill we saw in December,” Peters said as he made reference to the most recent changes to the federal income tax laws.
     Rep. Dunn, Peters said, was not elected as the “doctor for the 706,000 people in the Second District; although if you call his Washington office and they answer ‘Dr. Dunn’s Office.’
     “I think he may no longer deserve the title ‘doctor,’” Peters said, “since he no longer practices medicine. You ask yourself, ‘Well what should I call him?’
     “He (Dunn) was a licensed real estate broker too,” Peters said. “He had lots of real estate investments.”
     Real estate investors will see a benefit from the revised tax bill that was just passed by Congress, Peters said.
     Peters then mentioned that Dunn was a registered lobbyist.
     “If there is one problem in Washington, D.C. that is seen today,” Peters said, “it is that the lobbyist have their claws sunk deeply into the flesh of our Congress.”
     The candidate expressed his opinion about Dunn in that regard.
     “We certainly don’t need another lobbyist in Congress,” Peters said, “but that is what we have in this district.”
     Peters went on to say he has documentation that Dunn was a lobbyist, and now Dunn is in the halls of Congress making decisions.
     Peters said Dunn’s choices in votes reflect the special interests of people who do not live in this district of Florida.
     “Why Congressman Dunn,” Peters asks, “did you accept the $7,500 campaign contribution from ‘Big Sugar’ when we don’t grow commercial sugar in this district. Well, they bought your vote. That’s the simple answer.”
     Peters said the tax bill that Dunn helped champion as a result of “Big Sugar” and other huge corporate interests is “indefensible” and the voters are “smarter than you think.”
     Peters wants change.
     “We need to see change in the culture of Washington, D.C., to throw the lobbyists to the curb and get a class of Congressional freshmen, and by that, I mean men and women, who will truly represent the interests of their constituents instead of lobbyists. And not get cozy in an apartment in Georgetown or Crystal City and make that their last stop.
     “My last stop is Levy County,” Peters said. “Whether I win or lose this election, I am very happy here.”
     The deciding factor for Peters to run, he said, was his wife being tired of hearing him yell at the television set. She told him to stop complaining on Facebook and stop tweeting on Twitter.
     Peters shared with the people that his family has a tradition of public service. His mother served two terms on the Winter Park City Commission. His maternal grandfather was President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deputy undersecretary of the United States Army. His cousin Leslie “Les” Aspin Jr. was President Bill Clinton’s first secretary of defense.
     While he has public service on both parties in his family’s tradition, Peters said he is not wedded to the ideas, beliefs and values of either the Democrats or Republicans. Peters is running as a Democrat, he said, but he is seeking no national endorsement from either party.
     He would not reject a national endorsement from either major party, but he is not seeking them.
     Candidates expanding personal power and preserving it at all costs, is one of the driving forces that has led national politics to reach the point where it is today, Peters said.
     The phone banks run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Peters said, are not going to see him logging time there – even if that is how the party has determined who gets which assignments in Congress.
     Determining committee assignments by how much a Congressman raises for the party, he said, is not representative democracy. Instead, Peters said, that is “… a form of authoritarianism that traces its way back up to the majority leader, the minority leader, and their whips.”
     The 50-year-old man made it clear that he is not going to do whatever the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wants.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY

     Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour for full-time workers is something Peters endorses. Since part-time workers rarely see benefits, he believes that minimum wage should be $16.50. This would exist in every county of every state.
     “We need money to trickle up for a change,” he said.”
     This increase in minimum wage would be brought about gradually, he said, to reduce the odds of runaway inflation.
     Peters thinks this new minimum wage rate can be completely phased in within three years.
MEDICARE FOR ALL
     Peters supports the idea of Medicare for all Americans.
     “It’s unthinkable that we are the last industrialized country on this Earth that doesn’t guarantee access to good healthcare as a matter of record until the (patient reaches) the sixties.”
REAL TAX REFORM
     Peters said he supports real tax reform, in contrast with what he sees now as “temporary gimmicks” for America’s middle class.
     “I believe in a progressive tax system,” Peters said. “I think it has never been truer that from those to whom much is given, much is expected – as with taxation and everything else.”
MEET WITH PEOPLE
     Rep. Dunn likes to go to photo opportunities, Peters said. He does not like to hold town hall meetings.
     “The lack of interaction (by Dunn) with constituents is abysmal,” Peters said. “I like these meet the candidate events, where you can see me and kind of kick the tires. I don’t call them ‘Meet the candidate events.’ I call them ‘Kick the candidate events.’”
TRANSPARENT CONGRESSMAN
     There has been $17 million spent to settle suits against congressmen for harassment of staffers and others over the years, Peters said.
     Peters said he will sleep in his office. He wants “Nanny Cams” cameras with mikes in congressional offices of the 538 members of Congress (435 House members, three territorial representatives plus 100 Senate members), so that the taxpayers can see and hear what is going on in those offices.
     While this bill he will propose may not happen across-the-board, he said he is willing to fund it for his constituents so that the people can see and hear what is happening in his office.
     “Is that the kind of congressman you want representing you in DC?” he asked. “Someone who has nothing to hide. Someone who wants to focus on the economy. Someone who disdains the elitists of both (major) national parties. If so, give me a second look. If not, stay with the status quo.”    
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
     Based on what happened with McCain-Feingold, and Citizens United, as a trial lawyer for 26 years, Peters said it is his opinion that to put an end to the nonsense one of two things must happen. Over time, the laws and decisions have let money from independent groups pour into campaigns.
     Peters said one of the two options is for the United States Constitution to have a revision to The First Amendment.
     The more likely method to fix finance of campaigns, Peters said, is to revise the system so that campaigns are publicly financed.
     “Norway has campaigns that are publicly financed,” Peters said. “Norway has the 15th best voter turnout in the world.”
     No campaigning is allowed on television or radio in Norway, he said. He sees public financing of campaigns as a good solution to the enormous problem.
     The United States is rated 120th in voter turnout in the world, Peters said.
RESTORING VOTING RIGHTS
     Peters recommends restoring convicted felons’ right to vote. By allowing more people the right to vote and publicly financing campaigns, he believes that in two generations Americans will see the participatory democracy as being something worth participating in.
     To see more about Brandon Peters, there is a website. It is at http://peters4congress.com/wp/.


Physical therapy starts
at Regional General Hospital


 Certified Occupational Therapist Rebecca Mears shows how to use a Nu Step TRS 4000 as part of a physical therapy routine.

Story, Photo and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 7, 2018 at 11:38 a.m.

     WILLISTON -- On Monday morning (Feb. 5), an erasable board in the Physical Therapy Department of Regional General Hospital (RGH) in Williston proclaimed "Today it hurts. Tomorrow it works."




In this 21-second video, Certified Occupational Therapist Rebecca Mears shows how to throw a weighted ball toward a small trampoline and then catch it. This is an exercise in coordination and balance that can be part of a person's therapy needed to recover from an illness or injury, and the subsequent surgery or other factors that may have limited them before they began their physical therapy.


     Certified Occupational Therapist Rebecca Mears, the head of that department at RGH, concedes that it can take more than one day of physical therapy to reach a certain goal of having something function when it was dysfunctional. The daily goals in physical therapy can bring the patient to a final point of recovery, nonetheless.
     The physical therapy option for RGH patients, whether they are in the hospital or just visit for physical therapy, started on Jan. 30. The first three patients to enjoy this option were patients staying at the hospital on that day.
     Mears is joined in her mission by Certified Physical Therapist Antonine Arneus and Certified Occupational Therapist Jennifer Montgomery.
     The physical therapy sessions can be scheduled Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no RGH outbound physical therapy service that goes to a patient's home.
     To be eligible for this therapy, a person needs to have his or her doctor write a prescription for physical therapy. Then RGH verifies health insurance will cover it.
     RGH physical therapy is covered by Humana, United Health Care, Florida Blue and many other major health insurance companies.
     The physical therapy area of the hospital includes a treadmill for walking; differently weighted balls and a trampoline for coordination and balance exercises; a therapy table with white foam rollers (to get the tightness out) (ice and hot packs are applied there as well); a Nu Step TRS 4000 for stationary bicycle exercise; a Gold's Gym XRS 50 for various weighted lifting exercises; various weights to attach to ankles or wrists; and a full-length mirror to review stature when standing.
     Mears said the RGH Physical Therapy Department can provide for all of the needs of patients in this realm of treatment.
     For more information about physical therapy at RGH, or to schedule an appointment, call the hospital's main number -- which is 352-528-2801.

 


Fiber optic Internet
service digs in at Williston

First customers to turn on in 3 to 6 months

Likwid Communications Technician Blake O’Neal stands in the bucket holding a golden shovel above (from left) Blake (Blake Two) Johnson of the Likwid Communications construction team, Williston City Manager Scott Lippmann, Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklick, Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, Likwid Communications President Chris Smith, Becky Smith (Chris’ Mom), Al’s TV Williston Sales Manager Carol McKay, Al’s TV Owner Andrew Arevalo and Al’s TV Sales Manager Gregg Spafford. Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat was present for the ceremony, although he chose against grabbing a golden shovel. Among the other individuals who were present to show support for the effort to provide reliable high-speed Internet service in Williston included Tammy Dean, Chris Smith’s aunt, Rachael Dean and Chris Smith’s cousin. The shovels are somewhat hidden under the watermark in this photo, but they are all new and the blades are painted a shiny gold. No grass was disturbed or ground actually broken in the ceremony -- another innovation by Likwid Communications. (Spare the Earth until need be.)

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 2, 2018 at 1:08 p.m.
     INVERNESS --
An Inverness-based company that provides fiber optic Internet service conducted a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday (Feb. 1) in Williston...



Likwid Communications President and CEO Chris Smith is stands between two of the Likwid Communications vehicles before the start of the groundbreaking ceremony late Thursday afternoon (Feb. 1).


Likwid Communications Technician Blake O’Neal stands in the bucket holding a golden shovel, showing innovation continues at Likwid Communications – even at the groundbreaking ceremony in Williston.


(from left) Al’s TV Antenna & Satellite Sales & Service Sales Manager Gregg Spafford, Owner Andrew Arevalo and Williston Sales Manager Carol McKay stand next to one of the vehicles they brought to the groundbreaking to help represent Al’s TV.

 




Click on the ad above to be
notified via email about News Alerts.




99th Jingle Performer


Dawn Coffey sings the HardisonInk.com jingle on Feb. 16, 2018 at the C. Doyle McCall Pavilion on the First United Methodist Church of Chiefland property during the Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off. Each performer or set of performers brings his or her, or their (when it is two or more performers) own special something to the jingle. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to hardisonink@gmail.com. He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it. (Thanks people!)
Published Feb. 19, 2017 at 9:08 a.m.
© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

Your weather just got better.

--UPDATED--
TUESDAY   Feb. 20   1:28 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



Click on the box above to go to the RGH ad on the Community Page.



 

 

AdQuitDoc101915






Camp Anderson Man Up Retreat
Click On Ads To Go To Websites





 

 




 



Harriett Downs Realty Ad



 




 







 
















AdPrintShop2015

 



 












 







Levy County Prevention Coalition




 



 





Please Click On The Above Ad To Go To The Archived Stories And Photos.