Rain Fills Pond
These views of Long Pond on Friday (Aug. 28) in Levy County are reflexive of the water table reaching a point where it has not been for several years in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
One area resident said there was a time when the pond was relatively dry, in contrast with now, where it is full from end to end. This is a very big pond in the Chiefland area.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 29, 2015 @ 11:07 p.m.

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Bell Bulldogs beat
Bronson Eagles 33-0

Bell Bulldogs Mikey Trantham (#11) run all the way to about five yards shy of the touchdown as the home team accepts the kickoff and makes a big return.

Story, Photos and Video

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 29, 2015 @4:07 p.m.
All Rights Reserved - Do Not Copy

     BELL -- The Bell Bulldogs Varsity Football Team clobbered their counterparts from Bronson by a score of 33-0 on Friday night (Aug. 28) in a home game for the Bulldogs.
     To say that the Bell Bulldogs bested the Bronson Eagles on every front is completely correct. The football team won. The cheerleaders and band won. The thoughtfulness heard on the public address system was a winner. The concession volunteers were quick and friendly. It was really a great place to be on Friday night.

Jeff Irvin volunteers to cook hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers, which were for sale at the concession stand.

     The weather was a bit uncooperative, with intermittent light to heavy sprinkles. It presented challenges to people who value their cell phones and cameras.
     The Eagles made a valiant effort, and freshman Julius Smith (#13) put in so much of himself into the game that he was injured to the point of having to be carried from the field. It was a tough night for the Eagles – with no band or cheerleaders traveling with them.

Trisha Stalvey (left) and Lori Mikell sell tickets to people who came to watch the game.

     Bronson Varsity Football Head Coach Jim Smith accepted a daunting task with the sudden and unexpected resignation of former Coach Cameron Porch at the first pre-season game for Bronson the week before.

Bell082815D     On Friday night, Smith who was with Williston last year, brought Coach Bruce Greenlee and Coach Curtis Stacy for some help. Other assistant coaches coming from Bronson were Jim Roundtree, John Uncle, Marland Williams, Tyler Beauchamp and Justis Durden.

Janet Johnson serves as a ticket taker on Friday night (Aug. 28).

     "We've got real good kids," Coach Smith said, as he mentioned that he was disappointed that Porch quit.
     "We've got good help," Smith added in reference to his assistant coaches.
     The home team had an awesome showing Friday night in Bell.
     Bell Bulldogs Varsity Football Head Coach Joey Whittington is helped by assistant coaches Ric Whittington, Kyle Sanders, Rick Carnley, Mark Lundy, Jared Corbin, Mike Moore, Troy Terry, Jason Johnson, Brad Surrency, Mike Simpson and Justin Terry.

Varsity Cheerleaders
Bell Bulldogs Varsity Cheerleaders are seen here with their two coaches Amy Douglas (on left) and Brooke Hilliard (on right). The team includes Seniors - Capt. Shelby Geiger, Capt. Selena Thomas and Anonia Lopez; Juniors – Capt. Morgan Martin, McKenzie Ann Martin, Courtney Irvin, Taylor Mauldin, Selena Gosnell, Brianna Roussin and Ana Valdez; Sophomores – Rebecca Douglas, Cheali Rae Huffman, Cameron White and Emma Brady; and Freshmen – Rebekah Floyd and Jilliam Morgan. Two elementary student cheerleaders who are the team’s mascots are Rebekah Floyd and Jillian Morgan. The Bronson Eagles did not bring any cheerleaders to this away game.

     After the game, Head Coach Whittington shared his thoughts on the defense, offense and how the team will prepare to face the Trenton Tigers on Friday night (Sept. 5) in Trenton, when that game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
     “I think our defense did well,” Coach Whittington said. “We came out here and had a shutout. The defense really flew around all night. I really put pressure on them. It’s something we’re trying to build with our defense.”
     The Bulldogs’ coach said this defensive strategy is working well.
     The offense was a little better on Friday night too. The players moved the ball on the ground, the coach said.
     “We weren’t able to do that very well last week,” he said.
     However, The Bell Bulldogs defeated the Hawthorne Hornets on Aug. 21 in the pre-season game.
     Timely passes showed the offense playing well, he said.
     “I’m still looking for improvement,” he said. “We can always do better, and that’s what we will do next week.”
     Before the game on Friday night, not only were the coaches working with the players, but there were many other adults helping make it a complete night of football. Among the extensive set of people helping with the many wonderful concessions was Jeff Irvin who was cooking on a hot and smoky grill as he prepared hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken fingers.
     Ticket takers did their part. Those people accepting fees to watch the game were Trisha Stalvey, Lori Mikell and Janet Johnson. Johnson is also the senior class sponsor, the school librarian (media specialist), the yearbook advisor and the High Q commissioner.
     Providing a play-by-play account of the game as well as making many other announcements was Tommy Philman. He has been the football announcer for the past 30 years.

Umbrellas were in use, as were ponchos and raincoats.

Football Action
In this set of videos, (1) The National Anthem is performed by the Bell High School Purple Power Marching Band, under the direction of Chris Dunn. (2) Bronson Eagles Donny Clifton (#12) catches a pass from Eagles quarterback Caleb Chemin (#20). Bell Bulldogs Mikey Trantham makes the stop. (3) - Eagles quarterback Caleb Chemin (#20) is sacked by Bell Bulldogs Sammy Loveday (#33) and many other Bulldogs. (4) - Bulldogs quarterback River Lundy (#1) completes a pass to Zach Morgan (#13) for a touchdown. (5) - Bulldogs Zach Morgan (#13) makes an interception. (6) - The teams congratulate one another after the game. (7) - The Bulldogs line up and participates as the band plays the school song.
This video may not be copied or used in whole or in part without the express written permission of HardisonInk.com.


     The game opened with enough of a drizzle for umbrellas, raincoats and ponchos.
     The Bronson Eagles kicked off to the Bell Bulldogs. Bell’s Mikey Trantham (#11) ran all the way to about five yards shy of the touchdown. From there, it was Jacob Floyd (#9) who crossed the line to score the first six points for Bell.
     In the first kick attempt for Points After Touchdown, Bell’s Brett Molzen (#7) saw an incredible wall of Eagles blocking that PAT and the score was 6-0, Bell, with 11:39 remaining in the first quarter.
     Bronson’s quarterback Caleb Chemin (#20) went to the fourth down and that is when Wayne Shipp (#52) performed one of the many punts of the night from that team.
     The two teams continued their battle with the pigskin in the first quarter until with 1:59 remaining in the quarter, Bulldogs Zach Morgan (#13) caught a touchdown pass and Molzen scored a point with the PAT to make it 13-0 starting the second quarter.
     Bell’s Cisco Lopez (#2), who was favored often with passes from Lundy, scored a touchdown with 2:35 remaining in the half. The PAT was unsuccessful and the score was 19-0, Bell.
     While the PAT was not good, the Bell team found an opportunity to attempt to make points again, because the field officials called “roughing the kicker” against the Bronson team. Bell still did not score on that attempt.
     Bell’s Purple Power Marching Band was a presence to be heard throughout the game, although the amount of rain between the start of the game and half-time precluded them from performing on the field for half-time.
     The third quarter ended on a very good note. Although the Bronson Eagles’ defense was able to withstand the Bell Bulldogs’ offensive onslaught for part of that quarter, another touchdown and Molzen’s PAT being good, brought the score to 26-0, Bell.
     A repeat touchdown by Bell and another PAT ended the game 33-0.

Music teacher and director Chris Dunn leads the Bell Bulldogs Purple Power Marching Band.
The Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps unit from Bell High School performs as the color guard.
Clouds that brought light rain later are in the distance before the start of the game.

FWC slows boats on river
Published Aug. 28, 2015 @ 10:17 a.m.
     WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER -- An idle speed, no wake zone temporarily in effect for a portion of the upper Withlacoochee River, according to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Friday morning (Aug. 28).
     A temporary idle-speed, no-wake zone has been enacted for the portion of the Withlacoochee River between the Interstate-75 Bridge at Silver Lake to the railroad bridge located just east of U.S. Highway 301.
     Higher-than-normal water levels in the river caused the FWC to put the temporary zone in place for boating-safety reasons. There are no other restrictions for the remainder of the river or its tributaries.

4-H Outdoor Adventure Club
cleans up the Suwannee River;

Round-Up set for Sept. 19

Story, Photos and Graphic

Submitted by Lacy S. Harris
Office Manager
UF IFAS Extension Levy County
Published Aug. 25, 2015 @ 11:17 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- The 4-H Outdoor Adventure Club held their annual Suwannee River Clean-Up on Saturday (Aug. 22).
     There were 19 club members and adults who traveled in kayaks, canoes and on a pontoon boat hauling all types of debris out the river and off its banks. The club collected in excess of 800 pounds of trash, which included 48 pounds of recyclables during the one day.
     If you would like to find out more about this 4-H club or any of the many other 4-H clubs in Levy County, then come out to the 4-H Round-Up. It is scheduled to be held on Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is held yearly at the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Bronson. Meet club leaders and members, make a craft, play games and enjoy a great meal for free.
     4-H is a fun and educational organization for youth ages 5-18 (as of Sept. 1, 2015). 4-H helps youth develop their interests and abilities to the fullest through project work, club work, special activities and training. 4-H is open to all youth regardless of race, color, sex, handicap or national origin.
     If you have any questions, please call the Extension Office at 352-486-5131.

Limited harvest for snook,
a premier Florida fish,
starts on Sept. 1

Published Aug. 25, 2015 @ 2:17 p.m.
     FLORIDA -- The recreational harvest season for snook, a premier Florida fish, starts Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.
     While the fishery is already more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals, but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.
     When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations.”
     Regular season closures are designed to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather and spawning. Snook are closed to harvest Dec. 1 through the end of February, and May 1 through Aug. 31 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park. In Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, snook season is closed Dec. 15 through Jan. 31 and June 1 through Aug. 31.
     Management measures such as the one-fish-per-person, per-day bag limit, annual closed seasons and size limits will help continue rebuilding snook populations on both coasts.
     Minimum and maximum size limits help protect juvenile and older breeding fish within the population. In the Atlantic, snook must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. In the Gulf, they must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 33 inches total length.
     A snook permit as well as a recreational saltwater license is required unless the angler is exempt from the recreational license requirement. Snook may be targeted or harvested with hook and line gear only. Snagging is prohibited.
     Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a partcipating bait and tackle store. For the county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” then “Snook” (under “Saltwater Fish”) and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”
     These carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments on species such as snook. If you see a snook fishery violation, please call the Wildlife Alert Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Dixie Music Center's
24th Anniversary
Musical Extravaganza
is scheduled for Oct. 3

Spencer Road Band
is slated as headlining the show


Photo Provided

By Bob Leichner © Aug. 4, 2015
     CROSS CITY -- Dixie Music Center is pleased to announce Saturday, Oct. 3, as the date for the store's 24th Anniversary Musical Extravaganza.
     This Old Town music products retailer and School of Music has hosted this annual event every year since 2001 on the property adjacent to the store. Dixie Music Center has served the musical needs of area musicians and students for almost a quarter of a century now.
     While the Dixie Music Center has been located at its present site since 2001, Dixie Music Center was founded by Old Town residents Bob and Dotti Leichner in 1991.
     The event is an all-day music festival with vendors, generous raffle giveaways, and a giant storewide sale. The store will open at 9 a.m. that day.
     Live music is expected to start about 10 a.m. The event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
     Headlining this year's show will be the Spencer Road Band from Clearwater. This high-energy four-piece band specializes in late '60s/early '70s rock 'n' roll and blues rock, and those performers put on a very dynamic show.
     Their Santana and Allman Brothers Band renditions have been particularly well received.
     The event promises, and always has, a very wide variety of musical genres by top-quality area and regional entertainers. At least seven acts are expected for this 15th consecutive annual live music show.
     The complete lineup is being finalized and confirmed and will be announced shortly, as well as a list of the prize items for the raffle drawings.
     As in previous years, the local Marine Corps League will be offering a variety of food items for sale. Please remember those proceeds will go to supporting their Toys-For-Tots Christmas gift program for the less fortunate area children during the upcoming holiday season.
     The store is located at 26626 SE 19 Highway in Old Town (on the west side of U.S. Highway 19, across from the weigh station).
     For more information, please call 352 542-3001.


-- UPDATED -- 

MON.   AUG. 31  6:07 a.m.




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