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By Myrtice Scabarozi © April 27, 2015 @ 9:07 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday (April 23) at the Levy County Quilt Museum -- 11050 N.W. 10th Ave. (near Levyville, kind of on the way to Judson from U.S. Alt. 27).

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     Sara brought in a lap quilt top that she’s been working on. The purple quilt in the frame should be finished in a few weeks. Diane brought in version of the Attic Window on Tuesday.
     Both quilt tops are outstanding.
     Our plants are enjoying the warm weather. The cactus plants are getting ready to bloom. The vine will be covering the trellis soon. The roses are being trimmed back and will soon the in full bloom. The yard looks great in the summer.
    The Old Sewing Machine Man visited with us at the Levy County Quilt Museum, and he worked on several of our machines. It’s nice to have someone that does house calls, or in our case, museum calls. He’ll be back in two weeks to work on a few more of our machines.
     We’ve enjoyed lunch on the porch and listening to the sounds of the bob white, which is also known as the northern bobwhite, Virginia quail (in its home range) or bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Being off of the beaten path might keep a few visitors from finding us but the sounds of the country side are worth it. Come out and see what I’m writing about. The Levy County Quilt Museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The telephone number here is 352-493-2801. Our email address is levyquilts@gmail.com.
     Everyone is welcome to come sit on the porch swings.
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Evelyn stays busy hand-quilting small quilts for us. She started a new quilt on Thursday (April 23).
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Sara has been joining us on Thursdays for a month or two and brought in this small quilt top she's working on.


South county group has
two environmental projects

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 22, 2014 @ 11:07 p.m.
     BRONSON -- Withlacoochee Aquartic Restoration Inc. has two envrionmental projects under way, WAR President Dan Hilliard told the Levy County Commission on Tuesday morning (April 21).

      The 156-member group started in 1984 in response to threats to the quality of life of residents along the lower Withlacoochee River, because of unrestrained, deep limerock mining operations in the coastal zone. WAR successfully petitioned the state to designate the lower Withlacoochee River as an "Outstanding Florida Waterway."
     At one time WAR stood for Withlacoochee Area Residents, Hilliard said, but the group changed the name to better reflect its activities.
CntCom042115     Hilliard said the Inglis-based group is not requesting action from the County Commission yet, but he was provind information.

WAR President Dan Hilliard

     When WAR members noticed the population of otters, alligators and bass in the lower Withlacoochee River had declined, they questioned the cause of that higher level (apex) of predators disappearing.
     This led to the project that is assessing the environment that contributes to the things that are in the river, he said.
     To restore the river to its condition where those animals thrive, the three-phase project was created, he said. The first phase, Hilliard said, is complete. This involved a compilation of as many of the state's records as were possible in relation to the river, Hilliard said.
     The next phase involves water, sediment and other testing, and analysis of the various biological communities.
     In the final phase, the group intends to have formed recommendations on actions leading to the restoration of this part of the river to a point close to when it was more vibrant.
     The river is seen as a major economic engine for the southern area of Levy County, Hilliard said. It attracts fishermen, boaters and other people who enjoy what this resource has to offer for relaxation and recreation.
     The second project relates to invasive plant control at Lake Rousseau, Hilliard said.
     The use of herbicides for aquatic weed management there over the past several decades may be having an adverse impact downstream from the lake, he said. WAR is working with the state and other scientists to consider alternative methods for invasive plant management in the lake – including the possibility of a drawdown of the lake level.
     Hilliard reminded the County Commission that he is not seeking anyting from the county in the way of action, but that he just wanted to briefly apprise the county leaders of a couple of WAR’s big projects in the south part of the county.


Cave divers start one-hour
sojourn through peaceful wonder

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Win Brown checks his gear as Chris Dixon waits in Catfish Hotel Sink. There is water below all of the green floating Duckweed.

Story and Photos

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 18, 2015
     MANATEE SPRINGS STATE PARK – A couple of cave divers and some other casual divers were the first in the springs at Manatee Springs State Park on Saturday morning (April 18).
     Chris Dixon, 54, of Old Town and Win Brown, 48, of Chiefland are the cave divers.
     They entered Catfish Hotel Sink, which is located in the Manatee Springs State Park away from the main set of springs where other swimmers and some divers go. These two cave divers said they would be going beyond Sue’s Sink.

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Chris Dixon and Win Brown prepare to go cave diving.

     Dixon and Brown have completed diving lessons beyond the introduction to cave diving and are now apprentice cave divers. If they continue learning, they may attain full cave diving status.
     Dixon said he is living his dreams. As a child, he watched Jacques Cousteau and he wanted to become a diver. He also had visions of being a mountain climber, a ski racer and a park ranger.
     Dixon is one of the park rangers who serves the public at Manatee Springs State Park. During his dive on Saturday, though, he was on his own time. Later in the day, he performed his duties as a ranger.
     One of the best things about diving, Dixon said, is the quietness from being underwater. And in the stillness and darkness of the caves, it is even more peaceful, he said.
     There are 54,000 feet of caves under the park and beyond. Dixon and Brown said they planned to cover 1,000 feet – mostly at depths of 90 feet. Their plan was for a one-hour trip through the caves.
     When divers enter the caves at Catfish Hotel Sink, there is a strong current pushing against them. Coming out, Brown noted, that current pushes the divers toward their planned exit.
      The sink is almost always covered in Duckweed (as is seen in the photos).

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(from left) Ginny Poarch, Paul Poarch and Samantha Poarch ready for their recreational diving experiences at Manatee Springs State Park.

     Dixon reminds people who are considering cave diving that without proper training and equipment, including reliable underwater lights, cave diving is a very dangerous sport. Pioneers in cave diving have made the practice safer and they have helped other understand the ideas of protecting cave systems and water quality.
     A father and his two daughters were other divers who enjoyed their sport in the park on Saturday morning. Ginny Poarch, 26, Samantha Poarch 23, and their father Paul Poarch, all of Jacksonville went diving in the waters of the park.


Chiefland Rotary plans
11th annual fishing tournament

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 26, 2015
     CEDAR KEY -- The Chiefland Rotary Club is planning to conduct its 11th Annual Fishing Tournament as it launches fishermen into the waters from Cedar Key on May 2 at daybreak.
     This is a fundraiser to generate revenue for the club to award to various charitable causes.
     Once again, there will be a Captain's Dinner and Calcutta the night before. During the Calcutta, participants can guess which fishermen will triumph. Also known as a "Calcutta pool," this practice is used in golf tournaments on occasions. The Calcutta is a game of chance where a prize of money is awarded from a pool of wagers on a contest of skill limited to amateur and professional sporting events, other than horse racing.
     There is a plethora of information in the Florida Statutes showing what constitutes authorized gambling in this state. One online resource can be seen by clicking HERE.
     As for the competitive fishing tournament which requires skill, that takes the issue of fishermen wining cash away from the disallowed forms of gambling in Florida. There is more skill than a gamble when it comes to a fishing tournament.
     There are two levels of sponsorship for the Chiefland Rotary Club's fishing tournament. The $500 sponsorship includes a boat entry, two captain dinners, a listing on the sponsor board at the weigh-in, and a listing on the tee-shirt in larger print than the $200 sponsor. The $200 sponsor gets one captain dinner, a listing on the sponsor board at the weigh-in, and a listing on the tee-shirt in smaller print than the $500 sponsor.
     To become a sponsor of the fishing tournament, please contact a member of the Chiefland Rotary Club.

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-- UPDATED --

TUE.  APRIL 28  6:47 a.m.

Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties


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