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A Learning Moment
Alicia Rohan of Gainesville holds her daughter Harlow Rohan, 4, as they look into a tank with marine creatures during the open house at the Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key on Saturday (Sept. 22). To see more photographs and the whole story about the NCBS annual open house event, please visit the COMMUNITY PAGE.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 23, 2018 at 9:38 a.m., all copyrights reserved


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CFEC Annual Meeting Oct. 6, 2018


King And Queen

Dixie County homecoming king and queen, Carlo Williams and Mareena Johnson stand on the field after being crowned Friday night (Sept. 21). To see the story and photos by Terry Witt, please visit the LEISURE PAGE.
Published Sept. 22, 2018 at 3:38 p.m.

Photo by Tracy Locke

Coast Guard locates
missing boater 15 miles west
of Town of Suwannee;

Trenton native saved

A rescue boat from a commercial salvage crew approaches the 22-foot boat with Jerry Driggers on it.

The rescue boat from a commercial salvage crew prepares to tow the boater in distress

Still Shots From Video By USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Johnson

By the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay
Published Sept. 21, 2018 at 7:08 p.m.
     CLEARWATER, Fla. —
The United States Coast Guard located a missing boater 15 miles west of the Town of Suwannee on Friday (Sept. 21).
     Rescued was Trenton native, Jerry Driggers, 71.
     At 10:57 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 20), Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a report from Driggers' wife stating Driggers was due back from a fishing trip aboard his 22-foot boat by sunset and had not returned. Driggers' wife gave watchstanders a complete float plan, including where he was leaving from, where he was going, and when he planned to return.
     An Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched, and at 5:27 a.m. Friday, located Driggers aboard his boat. After the air crew lowered a radio to Driggers, he stated he was OK, but his boat was disabled.
     An HC-130 Hercules also was launched and maintained communications with Driggers.
     A commercial salvage boat crew went to Driggers location and towed him back to shore. There were no reported injuries.
     "Mr. Driggers did everything right," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Walker, a Sector St. Petersburg watchstander. "Float plans dramatically decrease the search area for emergency responders. We urge every boater to prepare a float plan and give it to a family member or friend before leaving the dock."


Tri-County Saw Shop anticipates
expansion and relocation;

Owner seeks relief from impact fees
Tri-County Saw Shop
Steven Crews speaks about the future location and expansion of Tri-County Saw Shop, and that there are impact fees to be paid when it is built.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 20, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.
– One Levy County business owner told the Levy County Commission on Tuesday morning (Sept. 18) of his plan to expand; however, he asked the county leaders for relief from the burden of impact fees.


Tri-County Saw Shop
Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks notes something during the meeting Tuesday morning (Sept. 18).

Tri-County Saw Shop
County Commission Vice Chairman Mike Joyner said he will do what he can as a member of the County Commission if something is possible for him to do in regard to helping business interests expand or come to Levy County.

Tri-County Saw Shop
Commissioner Matt Brooks mentions that some counties help new business with driveways, culverts and the like on the public easements leading onto private property.

Tri-County Saw Shop
County Commissioner Lilly Rooks listens to the request for relief from impact fees.

Tri-County Saw Shop
Oz Barker, speaking as a county resident and not as the property appraiser, says he is proud of his nephew Steven Crews for taking on the big expansion project for Crews’ business -- Tri-County Saw Shop.

     Steven Crews, owner of Tri-County Saw Shop, plans to construct a 6,600 square-foot building on property north of Chiefland on Levy County Road 218 (Northwest 150th Street) on the east side of U.S. Highway 19.
     While the building will be 6,600 square feet, Crews said, only 2,500 square feet of the structure will be air-conditioned. There is going to be a large open porch across the front and a 2,500 square-foot warehouse in the back of the building.
     Crews said the $1.71 per square-foot total in impact fees seems relatively high to him.
     He currently employs four people. At the larger location, Crews said intends to hire four more employees for a total of eight.
     This $500,000 building has added costs, Crews said, beyond its construction.
     There is a $6,200 apron that he needs to have paved for a driveway from the road next to the property, Crews said. While there is some expense for the entrance coming from the county road, the fee for a new driveway leading from U.S. Highway 19 would have been significantly higher.
     After having a conversation with Levy County Building Official Bill Hammond, Crews received an estimate of $10,740 that he will have to pay in impact fees. The majority of that fee is for the transportation element of those fees.
     In providing Crews with a very rough estimate just based on a 6,600 square-foot building, Hammond had noted it would be $480 for EMS and either $10,260 or $5,130 for transportation impact fees. These were the first rough estimates of fees, but it does show some thousands of dollars will need to be paid before a certificate of occupancy is issued by the county.
     County Attorney Anne Bast Brown told Crews that the impact fees collected by the county for transportation are applied to roads within the quadrant of the county from whence they were collected. Each set of impact fees must be used as prescribed by law. They cannot simply be put into the general fund.
     Attorney Brown explained that impact fees are required of new development to offset the impact that is added anew to services such as EMS, fire protection and transportation. There is a cost to the county from a new development coming into existence.
     Although it may seem counterintuitive, Brown added, impact fees do not affect whether new development occurs within a city or a county, according to studies of this matter.
     Crews was not listed on the agenda, but he spoke during the first “public comments” portion of the meeting. The Levy County Commission provides the public with two options to address it at each regular meeting.
     And, as he did Tuesday morning, County Commission Chairman John Meeks again demonstrated a continuing practice of letting the public address the Board of County Commissioners with great ease.
     The County Commission and County Attorney Brown helped Crews learn that there is a method for him to appeal the impact fees. Crews said after the meeting that he felt Levy County should have a better method via the Building Department to help potential developers know if there are ways for them to offset costs – if the Levy County leaders really want growth to happen here.
     Up until the meeting on Tuesday, Crews did not have information about appealing the impact fees.
     And even at that very meeting, Attorney Brown’s first brush of giving help was to tell crews to go online and visit a website named (, and then somehow track through the Levy County ordinances and procedures to find it on his own.
     As for the method any developer may use to contest impact fees, or to seek to have them waived, there is going to be another cost for that. They will have to pay for professional services to prove why these fees should be waived or reduced for any particular development.
     Crews tried to help County Commission members understand benefits of his plan for relocating and expanding his business.
     For instance, the taxes on the unimproved four acres currently is $1,260 a year, Crews said.
     The tentative taxes after the building is finished would be about $3,000 a year, he said.
     And his increase of employees by 100 percent has a significant positive impact on the county.
     Crews asked the County Commission to waive the impact fees or adjust them in some manner to better match the project’s actual impact on transportation and the like.
     The County Commission recommended that he contact Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik to learn about possible methods to help with some potential tax relief as Crews expands his existing business – Tri-County Saw Shop.
     Crews shared with the County Commission that all his life he had heard that the U.S. Highway 19 corridor between Fanning Springs and Chiefland would be developed so that it was like it was one big city.
     Being almost 54 years old, Crews said he sees that still has not happened.
     “But I do see that as being something in the future,” Crews said. “I want to be part of that future.”
     Crews shared with the County Commission that Tri-County Saw Shop is two years old, but it used to Beauchamp Saw Shop and that was in operation for 45 years before that.
     Attorney Brown said she understands that this is an existing business, however the new structure is what is causing an impact on county services and therefore that is why there are impact fees.
     “It doesn’t matter how long the business has been in business,” she said. “It will be a brand-new building.”
     The introduction of a new structure on property is the cause of the impact fee being imposed, she said. These are not annual real estate taxes. This is a one-time fee for new development.
      Commissioner Matt Brooks told Crews that some counties help existing business interests to expand, as well as to attract new developers, by assisting them some level of construction of driveways or culverts on the public right-of-way leading onto the property.
     Brooks said he would endorse the county checking into providing that support if it can.
     Chairman Meeks told Brooks that idea goes back to Crews contacting NCBDC Executive Director Pieklik, who should be able to provide any active or potential developer with a set of methods for seeing tax breaks from creating jobs as well as to potentially offset some capital expenditures from expanding an existing business that increases the tax base in the county.
     Chairman Meeks said a problem from waiving impact fees for any developer results after everyone who has paid the fees returns to seek a refund. Not only are business interests required to pay county impact fees, but new residential construction generates impact fees for the county as well.
     County Commissioner Mike Joyner commended Crews on his desire to expand Tri-County Saw Shop. Joyner said he endorses the use of incentives that should be available in this county for existing business interests that want to grow.
     Crews said he anticipates opening the new building in March if all goes as planned.
     Levy County Property Appraiser Osborn “Oz” Barker spoke to the County Commission about this business.
     Crews is Barker’s nephew, Barker said as he let the County Commission know that he was speaking as a member of the public and not as the property appraiser.
     Barker said he is proud of what his nephew is doing by taking this huge step of a $500,000 expansion and relocation project for the business.
     “I’ve never been a fan of impact fees,” Barker said, “and that is what I am going to speak about. We talk about the impact his business is going to have on that area (of the county).
     “One impact,” Barker said, “is that forever now, he is going to pay property taxes –not for a vacant piece of property but for an improved piece of property. He will also pay special service fees (fire protection, EMS and garbage), which is a further (positive) impact.”
    Those impacts that Barker mentioned are going to add to the revenue of the county – not take away from it.
     “I don’t know how many of his clients are going to ruin the roads,” Barker continued, “or anything else of that nature that is going to cost the county. But everything he is doing is going to be bringing (revenue) into the county.”
     Barker said it is his opinion that impact fees do not encourage growth. He concedes that there are consequences from not imposing impact fees.
     Regardless of everything, Barker wants the County Commission to do what it can to encourage existing business to expand and for new development to come to Levy County.
      Barker said he intends to build a new house, and will pay $2,400 in impact fees – even though he has lived here his whole life and has paid taxes here.
     While Barker has the wherewithal to pay this fee, he feels for the young people who are starting their lives and may be building their first home. Barker shared his opinion that the County Commission needs to work on a method to better encourage more growth in Levy County.
     After the meeting, Crews told that the impact fees are not a deal-breaker for his plan to construct the bigger business location to serve customers of Tri-County Saw Shop. He also said he plans to touch base with Pieklik to find out if there are grants or subsidies to help his plan for relocation and expansion of the business.
     Tri-County Saw Shop is among the business interests that advertise in Those ads are on ALL SEVEN PAGES, including the HOME PAGE.


Commissioner Mike Joyner
honored by FIU with award

Pictured with The FIU’s Mike Joyner Officer of the Year Award, Levy County Commissioner Mike Joyner said that he would have never been able to attain any of these accomplishments had it not been for the support of his wife and children. He then said they deserved the award more than he and presented the statue, made in his likeness to his wife, Diane, whom he is seen here hugging.

Story and Photos
Provided by LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published Sept. 19, 2018 at 4:48 p.m.
     BRONSON --
The Florida Intelligence Unit (FIU), one of the oldest established law enforcement associations in Florida, bestowed its highest honor on Levy County Commissioner Mike Joyner last night (Tuesday, Sept. 18) during the Levy County Board of County Commissioners public hearing for the adoption of annual special assessments.

 FIU President Tully Sparkman and FIU Legal Counsel Paula Sparkman 

     The newly named “Mike Joyner Officer of the Year” award was presented by FIU President Tully Sparkman and FIU Legal Counsel Paula Sparkman and highlighted just of few of the many accomplishments Commissioner Joyner attained during his 30-plus years of service as a dedicated law enforcement officer in Florida.
     Commissioner Joyner is one of only a select few that are “lifetime” members of the FIU.
     Joyner began his law enforcement career in Jefferson County in 1973. He is attributed with saving four lives in three separate events and was awarded for these acts of heroism.
     In 1986, while employed with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office he spearheaded an undercover operation lasting over 18 months that netted 72 arrests with a 100 percent conviction rate. He went undercover seven times in state prisons in four different states and gained information that solved multiple cold case homicides.
     Joyner is also credited with gaining critical information during an undercover operation that ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
     He retired from law enforcement in 2005 after serving with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Marion County Sheriff’s Office, but continues his service to all of these communities and law enforcement agencies that he worked for throughout these years.
     Continuing his commitment to community and deeply entrenched in Levy County, Commissioner Joyner also enjoys the time he is now able to spend with family and friends. In dedication to the growth and development of the Levy County community as our commissioner, he also enjoys farming and working with his cattle. 

     To see the Dec. 6, 2017 story from where this FIU award was announced, click HERE.

Golfers donate $7,700-plus
to Friends of the GCSO

(from left) Vice President of the Friends of the GCSO Krystal Holly, Shirley Meggs, representative of the Chiefland Golf and Country Club, Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz and GCSO Capt. Sheryl Brown. Stand with the check presentation made earlier today (Friday, Sept. 14).

Story and Photo
Provided by Shirley Meggs
Sept. 14, 2018 at 3:48 p.m.
-- Friends of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office received a check today (Friday, Sept. 14) from the Chiefland Golf and Country Club for more than $7700.
     The net proceeds were the results of the wonderful golf tournament “Never Forget” the Club hosted. The benefit tournament was held on Saturday, Aug. 25, to raise funds for the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office memorial and the families of the slain officers Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25. The two deputies were murdered in April in Trenton.
     The Gilchrist Country Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, donations, and staff of the Chiefland Golf and Country Club. The GCSO appreciates the support from the people of this community in helping the families of the slain officers and the dedicated men and women of the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. What a great way to honor those fallen heroes and promote the strong, united community we live in.


Commissioner: Waivers won't
work for special assessments

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 13, 2018 2:08 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks said on Thursday morning (Sept. 13) via a telephone interview that the idea of providing a waiver for residents in cities that have mandatory garbage service will not work, and he would vote against such a motion if it were brought and seconded.
     Commissioner Brooks was responding to Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey's stated opinion that she thinks people who live in cities with mandatory garbage service should be exempted from the special assessment of $116 a year that is being assessed against residential property owners countywide, when there is a structure on the property. That includes residents in cities with mandatory garbage collection services, which is where City Manager Ellzey contends it is unfair.
     Brooks said the county cannot continue to have a budget deficit where the commissioners keep taking from a reserve fund to help the general fund.
     The $116 annual special assessment to pay for the solid waste transfer station and related garbage-disposal services at the dump -- that is probably going to be approved at the Sept. 18 second and final public hearing -- is not sustainable if cities' residents are able to opt out, Brooks said.
     The whole idea of special assessments for countywide fire service, countywide EMS and countywide garbage fees is to spread the cost to everyone in the county, he said.
     From his conversations with staff at Government Service Group, Commissioner Brooks said, he sees that if cities were granted a waiver from this fee it would reduce the net revenue to the county by $500,000 to $600,000.
     With that much lost revenue, Commissioner Brooks said, it would not make sense to have the special assessment.
     Brooks said he was elected, in part, because of his promise to the people to operate the county so that the actions are the most fair for the county as a whole. The practice of using the general fund to pay for the shortfall in revenue to the solid waste department is not a sustainable practice, Brooks said.
     As for providing a waiver for people of a certain level of annual household income is another option that is not feasible for this plan to work, Brooks said.
     Paying $116 a year for the county to keep its solid waste management program functioning amounts to approximately $9.67 a month, he added.
     (Although the monthly portion of the $116 is about $9.67, taxpayers must pay the whole amount for all taxes and special assessments to the county tax collector at one time, except as Levy County Tax Collector Linda Fugate said, if the taxpayer is participating in the quarterly installment plan -- which is available. In those cases, taxpayers make four payments to the tax collector's office.)


Chiefland city manager feels
city residents should get waiver
from garbage special assessment
Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey shares her opinion on Monday night (Sept. 10) that residents in cities with mandatory garbage pickup should not have to pay the county’s new $116 annual fee. Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks on Wednesday (Sept. 12) said there is a method to waive the fee for those residents, however that cannot happen this year due to deadlines for sending tax bills. The waiver for those residents can happen next year, County Commissioner Rooks said, if a majority of County Commission members vote for that. Rooks was the only county commissioner to vote against the new $116 annual fee for residential garbage in Levy County. That fee only covers the cost for the person who delivers his or her own residential garbage to the solid waste transfer site in Bronson.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey shared with the Chiefland City Commission on Monday night (Sept. 10) that she had attended the hearing the previous week in regard to the Levy County Board of County Commissioners imposing an added $116 fee on each residential property owner who has a structure on their property.
     Another meeting is scheduled for the Levy County Commission to hear input from the public in regard to special assessments that are imposed by the county government for it providing ambulance service, fire service and now as an annual fee for taking things to the solid waste transfer station (the dump).
     The next meeting is set for Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Levy County Commission meeting room in the Levy County Courthouse. That Sept. 18 meeting will be the final public hearing where the County Commission can adopt special assessment fees for the year.
      There is also the regular twice-monthly County Commission meeting scheduled for Sept. 18 starting at 9 a.m.
     On Monday night (Sept. 10), City Manager Ellzey said she believes that people who live in cities like Chiefland, Williston and Bronson, where garbage collection is mandatory, should have a waiver from the $116 proposed special assessment on developed residential property.
     Everyone in Levy County who owns residential property that has a structure on it will notice the proposed $116 annual fee on their tentative tax bill this year. The County Commission can impose that fee at its final public hearing on Sept. 18.
     The annual fee for Chiefland city customers of Waste Pro is $185.64, Ellzey said on Monday night. Added to that is the $116 special fee by the county, Ellzey said. So, the $301.64 for city residents is more than Ellzey thinks the Chiefland residents should pay.
     Ellzey favors the county waiving this special assessment fee on city residents in cities where there is mandatory garbage pickup.
     On Wednesday (Sept. 12), a city resident in southern Levy County shared her perspective.
     Drinda Merritt of Inglis said Inglis does not have mandatory garbage pickup in that city. However, Merritt added, she pays Waste Pro to collect her residential garbage.
     Speaking as a city resident who pays a collection fee to a provider, and not speaking as the mayor of the city, Merritt said she understands the County Commission taking the step it took.
     Merritt said she has attended the county budget workshops and regular meetings. She knows that taking money from a reserve fund to subsidize the cost of operations is not a good management practice.
     Merritt said people who use garbage collection services like Waste Pro and who own residential property in Levy County are still going to pay the fee, even though they don’t take their garbage to the dump.
     Also, on Wednesday (Sept. 12), Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks addressed, via a telephonic interview, City Manager Ellzey’s idea about a waiver of the fee for city residents where there is mandatory garbage pickup.
     Commissioner Rooks, who is the consistent lone dissenter in the 4-1 votes leading to the imposition of the $116 fee, said there is a method to provide a waiver for certain residential property owners.
     As for a waiver for residential property owners in cities with mandatory garbage service, Rooks said, that is not going to be possible for this year’s collection of taxes. It could happen next year if three or more County Commissioners voted in favor of that, Rooks said.
     As for people who have been taking their garbage to the solid waste transfer station, that 75-cents per bag fee for residential customers is going to become a zero fee, given that the County Commission adopts its assessments as currently appears to be extremely likely.
     A person would have to take 154 bags of garbage to the dump at 75-cents per bag to equal $116. That is about three bags of residential garbage per week.
      As for Waste Pro and other commercial haulers, the tipping fees for residential garbage collected in Levy County will be waived, Levy County Solid Waste Department Director Rod Hastings said during an interview on the telephone Wednesday.
     Mayor Merritt said the people of Inglis are anticipating a slight reduction in the fee that they pay Waste Pro as a result of that company not having tipping fees on residential garbage it delivers from Levy County to the Levy County Solid Waste Transfer Station (the dump).
     Hastings mentioned that Levy County is one of the few last counties out of Florida’s 67 counties that has tipping fees for residential customers.
     He added that his discussion with County Commissioner Matt Brooks in regard to satellite collection points for residential garbage in Levy County is progressing.


500-plus children see
banner unrolled
for positive impact

A James M. Anderson Elementary School student thanks Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition Executive Director Katrina VanAernam with a handshake on Friday afternoon (Sept. 7) after a banner was opened along a 264-foot section of the playground fence near the kickball field.

Photo by AES Principal Kristen McCaskill

Story, Photos (other than the top photo) and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 7, 2018 at 11:38 p.m.
     CROSS CITY --
About 525 students at James M. Anderson Elementary School in Cross City saw a 264-foot long banner unrolled Friday afternoon (Sept. 7) during a ceremony to herald the positive thoughts shown on that long piece of artwork.

In this video, the children of the elementary school countdown before the unfurling. Among the people present for the opening of the banner are Dixie County Superintendent of Schools Mike Thomas, Anderson Elementary School Principal Kristen McCaskill, Anderson Elementary School Assistant Principal Chasity Lord, Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition (DCADC)  Executive Director Katrina VanAernam and DCADC  Event Coordinator Rebecca Fusco.

DCADC Anderson Elem
Making snow-cones in the heat are (from left) Rebecca Fusco, Cale McCall, Katrina VanAernam and Debby Sweem.

DCADC Anderson Elem
The snow-cones

DCADC Anderson Elem
Anderson Elementary School Assistant Principal Chasity Lord (left) and Anderson Elementary School Principal Kristen McCaskill are among the active adults who brought the whole event to fruition on Friday. Faculty and staff at AES and volunteers added to made this event an extraordinary success.

DCADC Anderson Elem
Rebecca Fusco and Cale McCall crush ice and make snow-cones.

DCADC Anderson Elem
(from left) Rebecca Fusco, Katrina VanAernam and Principal Kristen McCaskill each delivered short messages to the children before the big banner was unrolled.

DCADC Anderson Elem
The 264-foot long banner goes beyond the view here. This is before it was unrolled.

DCADC Anderson Elem
A similar view of the unrolled banner is seen here, only after it was opened for viewing.

DCADC Anderson Elem
Rebecca Fusco pulls on one of the many strings to unfold the banner.

Principal Kristen McCaskill is seen next to the banner she helped unfurl.


DCADC Anderson Elem

DCADC Anderson Elem
Dixie County Superintendent of Schools Mike Thomas (left) and Dixie County School Resource Officer Casey Chesser stand on either side of a bear on the banner. Superintendent Thomas has a long professional career in education in Dixie County. Among his duties before being elected as superintendent of schools, Thomas served six years as assistant principal at James M. Anderson Elementary School and then he put in another six years as principal. During Thomas’ six years as principal, current Anderson Elementary School Principal Kristen McCaskill served as the assistant principal.

      Designed by Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition (DCADC) Event Coordinator Rebecca Fusco, this banner provides positive messages and beautifies the playground, DCADC Executive Director Katrina VanAernam said.
     “It’s awesome,” Anderson Elementary School Principal Kristen McCaskill said. “It’s beautiful. I love it.”
     Some of the children were able to pose next to the banner immediately after it was unfurled.
     Before the unveiling or unrolling. DCADC Administration Coordinator Cale McCall, DCAC Program Coordinator Debby Sweem, Director VanAernam and Fusco worked with several volunteers to make and deliver many flavored snow-cones (flavored crushed ice in a paper cone cup).
     VanAernam said Principal McCaskill had asked the DCADC to place the banner along the chain-link fence that has Dixie County garbage dumpsters on the other side opposite the kickball field. There is also a set of agricultural lab building on the other side of the fence.
     This banner is similar to one added to the Dixie County High School Baseball Field in 2016, when the DCADC partnered with DCHS Head Varsity Baseball Coach Chad Brock, VanAernam said.
     The event was fun and positive for the children and adults in attendance.
     The goal of the DCADC is to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use among Dixie County residents, with a focus on young people. To accomplish this goal, the coalition works on prevention strategies, including projects like Friday Night Done Right, the No One's House parent-to-parent campaign, the Know the Law course to teach students about alcohol and other drug laws, and working with law enforcement to implement compliance checks.
(Jeff M. Hardison is a member of the DCADC Board of Directors.)

Two famous Dixie County
singers perform
the jingle

Dotti Leichner (left) and Krista Campbell perform Campbell's version of the jingle on Friday at the Dixie Music Center in Old Town.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 7, 2018 at 4:38 p.m.
     OLD TOWN --
Two renowned musicians from Dixie County spontaneously performed the jingle Friday (Sept. 7), adding a special something that sent happiness waves throughout the world of jingledom.
     Krista Campbell and Dotti Leichner performed the jingle in the Dixie Music Center in the City of Old Town. Campbell has on a few occasions instantly improved the relatively simple jingle to make it even better.
     On this day in musical jingle history, she took an Ibanez guitar down from the wall of the music center to play the jingle as well. This was no ordinary Ibanez guitar, either. It was the very guitar that famous country music artist Josh Turner has autographed, and that is being raffled to help raise money for the Dixie County Education Foundation.
     Leichner and Campbell mastered this version of the jingle within five minutes of rehearsing and with one take.
     As a bit of serendipity to this already astounding event, Campbell won a Fender guitar autographed by Turner in 2015, when she was one of the raffle ticket-buyers that year to help the Foundation.
     Campbell is a renowned local musician who performs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at The Putnam Lodge on the very northern end of Cross City (in Shamrock) on U.S. Highway 19. She sings songs requested by people at the restaurant and bar from 6 to 10 p.m. on those three night. Dottie and Bob Leichner are musicians and business owners who sell musical instruments and equipment, and provide music instruction through their independently contracted music instructors.
     Bob Leichner is an amazing drummer. However, late Friday afternoon (2 p.m.ish), he was sent on a mission to go get lunch. Therefore, he did not have time to perform with the two ladies.
     There is a long list of people and groups who have performed the jingle. In fact, the sets of performances just hit the 106 mark. is an 8-year-old daily news website.
To see the jingle performed, go to the bottom of the Home Page.


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106th Jingle Performers

Krista Campbell (seated with guitar) and Dotti Leichner perform the jingle on Sept. 7, 2018 in the Dixie Music Center in the City of Old Town. This is Campbell’s version of the jingle that she made for this performance. Leichner and Campbell made this version within five minutes of rehearsing and with one take. Campbell is playing the Ibanez guitar autographed by Josh Turner that is being raffled to help the Dixie County Education Foundation. (There are still some tickets available as of this minute.) Campbell won a Fender guitar autographed by Turner in 2015, when she was one of the raffle ticket-buyers that year to help the Foundation. Campbell is a renowned local musician who performs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at The Putnam Lodge on the very northern end of Cross City (in Shamrock) on U.S. Highway 19. She sings songs requested by people at the restaurant and bar from 6 to 10 p.m. on those three night. Dottie and Bob Leichner are musicians and business owners who sell musical instruments and equipment, and provide music instruction through their independently contracted music instructors. If you want to buy a guitar or anything musical, visit Dixie Music Center. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it -- like these two wonderful ladies above. (Thanks people!)
Published Sept. 17, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.

© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

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