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Easter 2019

Storm passes
through Levy County

By David Peaton, Assistant Director
Levy County Emergency Management
Published April 19, 2019 at 11:39 p.m.
On Friday (April 17), the storm status for Levy County showed most areas had seen the majority of the severe weather pass, however the rain and wind continued for a bit longer.



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Ad for Gilchrist County Tourist Development Council

     Cedar Key and Yankeetown dealt with the coastal flooding during the high tide today.
     As of this 1:06 this afternoon, there were approximately 5,000 homes and businesses without power throughout the county. Power crews completed repairs.
     Along with the usual trees and power-lines down in Levy County (as many as 500 people at one point), the Levy County Emergency Management Department wants to make sure that it identifies anyone that has any additional storm damages to their property
     Levy County residents can report their storm related damage by clicking HERE or go to the Levy County Emergency Management
website and click on the "Report Storm Damage” link.
     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: As of 11:39 p.m. on April 17, Central Florida Electric Cooperative reported no major outages — characterized as a large number of members who are expected to be without power for an extended period. Duke Energy Florida outage reports as of 11:39 p.m. on April 17, showed no outages in Levy County, although 11 other locations across Florida had multiple outages, totaling more than 160 meters without power altogether.


Former public works director
says park maintenance
was a job for all workers;

Dunford recalls 2011 tragedy
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 17, 2019 at 11:29 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Former Bronson Public Works Director Jimmy Dunford said some people may have thought James Harry Cobb (Nov. 5, 1964-Aug. 6, 2011) singlehandedly tended to the town’s biggest park, however it was a team effort by the set of town workers back then.
     At a Bronson Town Council meeting on Monday night (April 15), Councilman Berlon Weeks mentioned that the late Cobb, had taken care of the park on his own.
     Also known as the Bronson Sports Complex, it was named James H. Cobb, in honor of the man who died in the line of duty as a town worker, when heat stroke led to his death. Councilman Weeks is the man who led to that honor being bestowed in memory of the late town worker, although it was the whole Town Council back then that renamed the park.
      Dunford shared with on Wednesday (April 17) information about the day when Cobb was taken to a hospital after suffering from health issues from working too much in the heat of August of 2011.
     Cobb, Dunford and former town worker Fred Pitts took care of the park, Dunford said, after Dunford was hired as public works director.
     “We were installing the meters for Dollar General (in August of 2011),” Dunford said. “We worked all day and it was hot. We had (an) ample supply of water and shade. At the end of the day, we cleaned up and Russell (Mitchem) took the backhoe to the compound.”
     Cobb was transporting parts and equipment back to the pole barn at the park as the workday was wrapping up, Dunford said.
     “I went to Town Hall to do paperwork,” Dunford said. “I received a call from Glen (Smith) who was at the park, stating ‘something was wrong with James.’ He said that James had drove around the pole barn, hit a pile of street sign posts that were there, and is just sitting in his truck.”
     Dunford said he told then Town Clerk Kelli Brettle to call 9-1-1 and have them go to the park.
     “As I rushed out going to the park,” Dunford said, “I saw one of the firemen at the fire station and told him to come to the park, now. When we got to the park, James was still in his truck, unconscious and (his) skin was hot to the touch.”
     Dunford said an ambulance arrived within seconds of the Bronson Volunteer Fire Department and him arriving at the park.
     “James (Cobb) was transported to the hospital and died a couple of days later,” Dunford said. “James was an asset during my employment at Bronson and was greatly missed.”
     Weeks has said he did not think workers were given enough water back then, and previously Weeks has questioned whether it would have been advisable to provide umbrellas to create shade when town workers are digging trenches to reduce the heat from the sun.
     Weeks has said before that the late James H. Cobb was his friend, and that Cobb would do whatever was needed of him to help the town. At the meeting on Monday night, Weeks said he believes there are four people now doing the work that Cobb did alone, and the workers today are being paid far more.
     Weeks came under fire from many people Monday evening as a result of him looking for methods to bring the town’s budget in line. His search for the balance between revenue and expenditures caused a discussion about the Bronson Parks and Recreation (BPR) Department Monday night, although there was no resolution to what appears to be a budget deficit issue with BPR.
     That is when Weeks expressed his opinion that Cobb alone performed the work to keep the park in good condition back in 2011 and for some number of years before Cobb’s untimely death.

Decorum absent from
Bronson Town Council meeting;

Gambling machines
may be in Bronson's future

Bronson Town Council April 15 2019
In this file photo from November of 2018, the words ‘Fish Tables’ are clearly painted on the front of a building that was raided and closed for being an illegal gambling operation known as an Internet café.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 16, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Despite Bronson Mayor Robert Partin reading from the town’s rules for an orderly meeting immediately prior to a rowdy discussion, decorum was relatively absent Monday night (April 15) at the Town Council meeting.

Bronson Town Council April 15 2019
Bronson Mayor Robert Partin explains the guidelines for addressing Town Council. The written rules of decorum were ignored Monday night, as they have been for years now at Bronson Town Council meetings, even when Bruce Greenlee was mayor and before that when Franklin Schuler was mayor.

Bronson Town Council April 15 2019
Bronson Town Councilman Berlon Weeks, said he was simply looking for methods to reduce spending in the town to keep a balanced budget. His conversations with Town Clerk Shirley Miller and Bronson Parks and Recreation Director Curtis Stacy led to the hubbub Monday night. There’s been no resolution to the issue of spending more money on parks and recreation in Bronson than those sports activities generate funds.

     While the town’s laws note speakers will identify themselves and speak from the podium, that did not happen.
     The mayor read the decorum rules:
     * The presiding officer (on Monday night, the mayor) shall keep the level of decorum proper at all times.
     * Each speaker shall have up to three minutes at the podium.
     * First, the speaker will state his or her name and address.
     * The presiding officer will recognize the person before they make a statement or ask questions.
     * Statements are to be directed to the council body and not individuals.
     * Discussions between the speaker and members of the audience will not be allowed.
     * No personal attacks against any individual will be allowed during the meeting.
     * Profanity, or aggressive or threatening behavior will not be permitted.
     * During meetings, cell phones are to be turned off or silenced.
     There were points where more than one person was speaking. In fact, Town Councilman Berlon Weeks a few times did not allow Shane Schuler to complete a sentence before Weeks started arguing with Schuler by talking over him.
     As for the presiding officer, Mayor Partin took little to no action other than tapping a gavel a few times as he tried to maintain a semblance of order. One unidentified member of the audience commented on the mayor finding the gavel once, although he may not have heard the comment due to the background noise.
     The Town Council meeting room in the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building was completely filled, and the overwhelming majority of occupants were proponents of the Bronson Parks and Recreation (BPR) Department.
     Rumor and gossip appear to have spread like wildfire on Facebook prior to the meeting, apparently after Bronson Town Councilman Weeks discovered from Town Clerk Shirley Miller that the expenses for BPR equaled about $86,500, however revenue from the Parks and Recreation Department was about $37,800.
     Revenue for BPR is generated from profits at the concession stand, a $13,000-a-year cell tower space rental for Verizon, and fees paid by parents and sponsors for children’s equipment and uniforms. There was no discussion about what part of the town’s general revenue, which comes from ad valorem property taxes, would be dedicated to recreation.
     Also, like the other four districts in Levy County, District One (which includes Bronson) receives money from the County Commission for recreation.

Bronson Town Council April 15 2019
BPR Director Curtis Stacy (left) says he understands how things happen in regard to people suddenly losing employment with the Town of Bronson. Shane Schuler stands next to Stacy. Schuler, who works and lives in Gainesville, dedicates time to the BPR as a volunteer coach.

Bronson Town Council
Town Councilman Jason Hunt is seen here. He said that his daughter has been involved in town sports, but for now he is requiring her to focus more on academics than extracurricular activities.


     BPR Director Curtis Stacy expressed his concern from the podium Monday night that he was going to be fired. Mayor Partin said that as a member of the Town Council, he held only one vote, but that firing Stacy was not something Partin would consider.
     There was no resolution to the question of recreational services in the town costing more than current fees, or revenue sources other than from ad valorem property taxes.
     Linda Cooper of Williston said she believes the Bronson town government should not be involved in recreation other than park maintenance. She spoke about parents in Williston who run the sports programs in that city.
     There was some discussion about a great need for more volunteers, and about the town being used as a babysitting service as parents drop off children for practice and games, leaving the children at the park and sometimes not returning in a timely manner to pick them up.
     People also spoke about the poor condition of the James H. Cobb Park, named after the former town worker who died after suffering from heat stroke while working in the park. 
     Councilman Weeks mentioned that when the Bronson Youth League existed, James Cobb singlehandedly maintained the park. A member of the audience said that may be what killed Cobb.
     For about four decades prior to the most recent decade of the BPR being in existence, sports in Bronson were guided by an organization known as the Bronson Youth League (BYL), which is similar to the still active Chiefland Area Athletic Association and the Williston Youth Athletic Association.
     Years ago, however, when the BYL had such a breakdown of order that parents complained repeatedly to the Town Council, the town’s leaders back then voted for the town government to take over parks and recreation – including organized sports.
     Since then, Coach Stacy created a department that now serves 300 to 350 children, according to what he said Monday night.
     If the costs are $86,000 this year and there are 350 children served this year, then it costs about $250 per-child per this year for this service, according to general math.
     There was no resolution to the alleged deficit spending by the town’s leaders on recreation.
     Town Councilwoman Beatrice Roberts, however, is the single person of the five-member council who said she wants to keep the BPR. The other four did not voice a strong opinion, although Weeks seems inclined to want the government to surrender its job of providing recreational sports for youths – and to let the job return to whatever parents want to become involved as the next version of the BYL.
     Roberts was active on Town Council when the BYL parents would, meeting after meeting, and in-between, complain to the town’s leaders about how the BYL organization was being operated.
     One possible option mentioned for increasing revenue to BPR is to have fundraisers, although that conversation was not carried to any conclusion.
     Robbie Blake spoke about the history of the park, telling listeners that she came to the area 40 years ago. Through community efforts, including by her, Nancy Bell, Edith Brown and many others, enough money was generated to purchase the park land, which is now the largest city park in Levy County.
     Councilman James Beck mentioned that he built bleachers, erected goalposts and his family has donated money to the BYL in the past.
     Beck was not attempting to give him or his family recognition, he was simply answering Shane Schuler’s question, which Schuler asked each Council member about how often he or she attended games at the park.
     Attacking individual Council members, though, is among the points where decorum may be applied. In his question about attendance, Schuler did not address the actual job of the Town Council, to act as the trustees for the public property, to budget funds and to legislate to best serve all of the residents and visitors of Bronson.
     Schuler did allude to his opinion that the Town Council members are unaware of the actual value to children and families and the town as a whole from children participating in organized sports, because Schuler thought the Town Council members had not watched enough of those games in Bronson to grasp that concept by watching those games.

Internet café sought for Bronson
Bronson Town Council
Bronson town councilwoman Beatrice Roberts is the only member of that group who said she would vote against gambling businesses in town. The other four need more information.

     On another matter that had no resolution Monday night, was a request for a business license to open an Internet café in Bronson.
     Bobby Patel of Chehar LLC said he wants to have a building where people gamble on an electronic game named Fish Tables. This is among the very same games that the municipal police agency in Chiefland closed because investigators found reasonable cause to suspect those games included the three elements in Florida law – chance, consideration and prize – to equal gambling.
     In Chiefland, tens of thousands of dollars in cash was seized by the Chiefland Police Department in a one-night raid of eight Internet cafés. Machines were confiscated and stored, with some later being sold and the ones that were leased being returned to lease companies.
     No person has been arrested from the Chiefland raids, though.
     Councilwoman Roberts was the only member of the Bronson Town Council who clearly stated she would vote against allowing a gambling operation in the town.
     Town Attorney Steven Warm asked Patel how this operation is different than the gambling that is not allowed in Florida.
     Patel said this is like gambling at a casino. When asked if he had conducted market research to see if Bronson could support such a business, Patel intimated that people will come from surrounding towns and counties.
     During the heyday of Internet cafés in Chiefland, people drove from Live Oak, Perry and other cities to gamble in Chiefland. Those gambling houses were open 24-hours-a-day.
     Although Florida Statute 849.08 states “Gambling.—Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree,” there were no arrests from the Internet café raids in Chiefland.
     Bronson Mayor Partin said more research needs to be done before the town leaders would decide. Therefore, Fish Tables in Bronson was tabled. Perhaps, it will be on the agenda for the April 22 meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
     Since Bronson has no municipal police force, it would be up to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation after Patel opens his Fish Tables business, if the Town Council allows it to happen. If LCSO investigators found reasonable cause to believe an illegal gambling operation existed, then the LCSO could close the operation.
     Meanwhile operators have learned to remove cash more frequently from Internet cafés – just in case there is a raid – thereby reducing the losses from police action.
     In successful gambling businesses, the house wins.
     An April 3, 2014 story in Florida Today (a daily newspaper on the East Coast of Florida) noted “State prosecutors said a series of raids carried out against two dozen Internet cafés statewide are the latest in a move to eliminate what authorities assert are illegal operations involving gambling and online arcades.
     “The raids were conducted by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents in five counties, Brevard, Duval, Columbia, Marion and Lake counties during the past two days and netted five arrests in Brevard County alone, authorities reported.”
    Then-Attorney General Pam Bondi released a statement that the Florida Attorney General’s Office of statewide prosecution would be active in halting what appeared to be illegal gambling in Florida.
     As for Chiefland, Police Chief Scott Anderson told on Tuesday morning (April 16) that the Chiefland Police Department will not allow illegal gambling operations to reopen in Chiefland as long as he is chief.


Endorsement by Levy County
commissioner noted for one
state representative candidate

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 12, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.
Candidates in Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties, and in the Third Judicial Circuit, Eighth Judicial Circuit, 21st State House of Representatives, 22nd State House of Representatives and Fifth District of the Florida Senate may be warming up their campaign machines.
     One candidate for the post held currently by State Rep. Dist. 22 (Levy County and western Marion County) Charlie Stone of Ocala, Republican, has stated that Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks (R-Dist. 5) has endorsed him.
     The honorable State Rep. Stone has reached his limit of terms and cannot seek reelection as a state representative.
          Thursday (April 11), the Joe Harding campaign announced the endorsement of Levy County Commission Vice Chairman Matt Brooks of Harding.
     Harding, a conservative Republican and seventh generation Floridian who was born and raised in Williston, announced his candidacy for the District 22 seat in the Florida House of Representatives in February.
     “There’s no question in my mind that Joe Harding is the right choice,” Brooks said. “It's time for the next generation of leadership to step forward to guide Florida into the future, and Joe is very well prepared to be a strong voice for us in Tallahassee.
     "As a small business owner, he understands our local economy and what it will take for us to make the most of our opportunities as well as overcome our challenges," Brooks added. "His roots here are deep, and his strong relationship with our agriculture community also gives him clear insight into that important pillar of our economy. I’m confident we can count on Joe to represent us with energy and integrity, and I’m proud to support him.”
     Brooks was elected to the District 5 seat on the Levy County Board of County Commissioners in 2016 and is also on the list of people who may be elected or reelected in 2020. Candidates in that race have not announced yet.
     “I’m proud to have Commissioner Brooks’ support,” Harding said. “His commitment to economic revitalization, job growth and public safety mirrors my own priorities. I’m grateful to have him on our team, and I look forward to working with him."
     Following is the list of known incumbents and candidates so far, except for soil and water management seats, circuit judges, and federal offices.

Candidates for 2020
Dixie County

Clerk of Court and Comptroller Dana Johnson (Incumbent)
Property Appraiser Robert A. Lee (Incumbent)
Superintendent of Schools Mike Thomas (Incumbent)
Supervisor of Elections Starlet Cannon (Incumbent)
Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. (Incumbent)
Tax Collector Michelle F. Cannon (Incumbent)
Board of County Commissioners
Dist. 1 Wade E. “Gene” Higginbotham (Incumbent)
Dist. 3 Mark Hatch (Incumbent)
Dist. 5 David Osteen (Incumbent)
School Board
Dist. 2 Charles K. Farmer
Dist. 4 Timothy W. Alexander (Incumbent)

Gilchrist County
Clerk of Court and Comptroller Todd Newton (Incumbent)
Property Appraiser Damon C. Leggett (Incumbent)
Superintendent of Schools Rob Rankin (Incumbent)
Supervisor of Elections Connie D. Sanchez (Incumbent)
Sheriff Robert D. “Bobby” Schultz III (Incumbent)
Tax Collector Barbara Merritt (Incumbent-RETIRED)
(Assistant Tax Collector Terri E. Trail, CFCA, who has been the assistant tax collector since 2011, currently is serving as the interim Tax Collector in Gilchrist County. The governor is scheduled to appoint a person to replace former Tax Collector Merritt who retired before her term ended. Trail has been active in the Gilchrist County Tax Collector’s Office for more than 20 years. She mentioned to that she intends to seek election to this office in the 2020 elections.)
Board of County Commissioners
Dist. 1 Sharon A. Langford (Incumbent)
Dist. 3 Todd Gray (Incumbent)
Dist. 5 Kenrick Thomas (Incumbent)
School Board
Dist. 2 Susan Owens (Incumbent)
Dist. 4 Gina Geiger (Incumbent)

Levy County
Clerk of Court and Comptroller Danny Shipp (Incumbent)
Property Appraiser Osborn “Oz” Barker (Incumbent)
Superintendent of Schools Jeffery R. “Jeff” Edison (Incumbent)
Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones (Incumbent)
Sheriff Robert B. “Bobby” McCallum Jr. (Incumbent)
Tax Collector Linda Fugate (Incumbent)
Board of County Commissioners
Dist. 1 John Meeks (Incumbent)
Dist. 3 Mike Joyner (Incumbent)
Dist. 5 Matt Brooks (Incumbent)
School Board
Dist. 2 Chris Cowart (Incumbent)
Dist. 4 Paige Brookins (Incumbent)

Third Judicial Circuit (Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor counties)
State Attorney
Jeffrey Alan Siegmeister of Live Oak, Republican (Incumbent) - Campaign Treasurer Jeffrey Siegmeister of Live Oak
Public Defender
M. Blair Payne (Incumbent)
Clifton "Cliff" William Wilson Jr. of Lake City, Republican - Campaign Treasurer Cliff Wilson of Lake City

A search for incumbent Third Judicial Circuit Court judges set to run for reelection in 2020, showed there was no list available from the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections or from the Third Judicial Circuit Court Administration Office as of April 12.

Eighth Judicial Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union counties)
State Attorney
William Cervone (Incumbent)
Beverly R. McCallum of Gainesville, Democrat - Campaign Treasurer Robert Norman Weaver of Chiefland

Public Defender
Stacy Ann Scott, Democrat (Incumbent) - Campaign Treasurer Stacy Scott

Incumbent Eighth Judicial Circuit Court Judges Set To Run In 2020:
The Hon. Robert K. Groeb;
The Hon. Phillip Andrew Pena;
The Hon. William E. Davis; and
The Hon. James P. Nilon

State Rep. Dist. 21 (Dixie County, Gilchrist County, western Alachua County)
Charles Wesley “Chuck” Clemons Sr. of Newberry, Republican (Incumbent) - Campaign Treasurer Chuck Clemons of Newberry

State Rep. Dist. 22 (Levy County and western Marion County)
Charlie Stone of Ocala, Republican (Incumbent-Term Limited Out)
Joe B. Harding, Republican, of Williston - Campaign Treasurer Brian W. Morgan of Ocala
Kurt Kelly, Republican, of unlisted city - Campaign Treasurer Abby F. Dupree of Tallahassee
Floyd Russell Randall, Republican, of Dunnellon - Campaign Treasurer John W. Brueggen of Dunnellon

State Sen. Dist. 5 (Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Lafayette, Suwannee, Union and part of Marion counties)
Robert “Rob” Bradley of Fleming Island, Republican (Incumbent-Term Limited Out)
Matthew “Matt” Charles McCary of Orange Park, Libertarian Party of Florida - Campaign Treasurer Matt McCary


New Chiefland
city commissioner appointed

Chiefland City Commission April 8 2019
At the start of the meeting Monday night (April 8), the Chiefland City Commission was comprised of (from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones and City Commissioner Donald Lawrence.

Chiefland City Commission April 8 2019
After the appointment of the newest member, the Chiefland City Commission was comprised of (from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones and city commissioners Donald Lawrence and Norman Weaver. Lawrence and Weaver are both retired educators and school sports coaches.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 9, 2019 at 12:19 p.m.
As mandated by the city charter, the four remaining members of the Chiefland City Commission on Monday night (April 8) chose a person to fill the empty post left after Mayor Betty Walker died.

Chiefland City Commission April 9 2019
Norman Weaver, a native of Zephyrhills, candidate for appointment as a city commissioner, says he wants to learn about the duties of a city commissioner. He has lived in Chiefland for 13 years.

Chiefland City Commission April 9 2019
Cheryl Langston Barron, a native of Chiefland, candidate for appointment as a city commissioner, says she would like to see the city grow to give more employment opportunities. Barron would like the city to succeed, she said. Former City Commissioner Teresa Barron (no relation), candidate for appointment as a city commissioner, was absent from the meeting on Monday night.

     Norman Weaver, a retired educator who taught primarily in Pasco and Pinellas counties, was selected by a 4-0 vote after a motion by Vice Mayor Tim West was seconded by City Commissioner Donald Lawrence.
     Mayor Chris Jones and City Commissioner Rollin Hudson voted in favor of West-Lawrence motion as well.
     Commissioner Hudson asked if the sitting members of the City Commission had to appoint a person, because the city’s election for that position is only a couple of months away.
     Hudson complained that whoever would be appointed might enjoy an advantage over anyone else in an upcoming election.
     “Whoever we place in now,” Hudson said, “seems to me will have a little bit of an advantage.”
     City Attorney Norm Fugate had explained to Hudson that the city code of ordinances requires the City Commission to perform this duty, although attorney Fugate did say that if the City Commission wanted to violate the code, it has free will to go against the law.
     Mayor Chris Jones chimed in with Hudson, complaining that he felt it was awkward for the four sitting members of the Commission to have to make a choice that should be left up to the entire set of qualified voters in the city.
      Mayor Jones added that he had spoken with “quite a few” members of the general public of Chiefland as well as city employees before the meeting, so that he could help select a person that he felt the people would want.
     Records show that only five of the 46 full-time or part-time city employees are qualified voters in Chiefland municipal elections.
     City Manager Mary Ellzey read the applicable part of the law regulating municipal government in Chiefland, in the event that a person leaves office before his or her term ends. In this instance, Mayor Walker had died. The last time the law was exercised, Mayor Teal Pomeroy had died.
     “The Code of Ordinances says ‘The vacancy shall be filled by the majority vote of the remaining members of the City Commission, who shall choose a successor to serve until the duly-elected person shall qualify,’” City Manager Ellzey said.
    The definition of the verb “shall” is not debated, even by politicians who may not want to do their mandatory jobs, because they disagree with the code of ordinances.
     Vice Mayor West said he believes it will benefit the people of Chiefland to see how the appointee works in his or her position before qualifying for the city election, when this seat will be on the ballot.
     Qualified voters in Chiefland will choose from among whichever candidates are on the ballot, which may include City Commissioner Weaver if he chooses to seek election.
     Qualifying for the Chiefland City election is tentatively set for June 10 through June 13, with the election currently slated for Sept. 9, according to what City Manager Ellzey said. As city manager in Chiefland, Ellzey is also the ex-officio clerk, and is therefore the supervisor of elections within this municipality.
     Hudson, West, Lawrence and Jones all said they felt the three candidates, including former City Commissioner Teresa Barron and Cheryl Langston Barron were all very well qualified to hold the position.
     Cheryl Langston Barron, by the way, is not related to Teresa Barron even as an in-law. Cheryl Langston Barron said her name is from the Barrons who live in Trenton, although she is a lifelong Chiefland resident with generations of the Langston family being from Chiefland.
     Cheryl Langston Barron said she would like to see Chiefland grow to give more employment opportunities. She would like the city to succeed, she said.
     Weaver said he wants to learn about being a city commissioner, and while he is part of the commission, he said he does have his own ideas. He was nominated and approved 5-0 to be the City Commission liaison to the city’s Recreation Committee, which includes representation from the Chiefland Area Athletic Association.
     Weaver is involved in at least one adult sport.
     During the conversation Monday night, it was mentioned that Weaver and Lawrence play golf together at Chiefland Golf and Country Club.
     The new member of the City Commission is bound to learn about certain topics that are out of bounds when those two guys are playing golf.
     If any two members of any board, council or commission, etc., speak outside of the public view about matters upon which they may vote, then they are violating Florida law – which provides for the people to see the process by which leaders debate or discuss with one another before they vote.
     Like the Florida law that opens public records to the public, this part of state law is among the “Sunshine Laws.”
     During the meeting, Mayor Jones apparently felt compelled to answer a question that no one asked.
     If there had been a motion and a second to appoint Teresa Barron, Jones said he would have voted for her. Teresa Barron was not present at the meeting Monday night. Jones said his conversations with employees and the general public are what led him in that direction.
     Since the motion and second was for Weaver, Jones went with the other three City Commission members on that vote.
     Weaver took his post instantly after the unanimous 4-0 vote to appoint him. On each of the few matters on the agenda where the City Commission voted on Monday night, it was a 5-0 vote – with no dissention by Weaver or any of the other four men on the commission.
     Levy County Court Judge J.T. "Tim" Browning is scheduled to administer the oath of office to Chiefland City Commissioner Weaver at the next regular Chiefland City Commission meeting, but Weaver is active as a commissioner already – complete with the power and requirement to vote on issues where the City Commission votes.


Levy County Fair
completes four-day celebration

Levy County Fair 2019 Amanda Havard Misti Brice
Levy County Fair Association President Amanda Havard welcomes everyone to the fair Thursday evening (April 4). Standing in the background is 2018-2019 Miss Levy County Fair Misti BriceThe fair ends on Sunday (April 7) at 9 p.m. To see more immediately about this year's Levy County Fair, click HERE.

Story, Photos, and Videos
By Jeff M Hardison © April 6, 2019 at 7:19 p.m.
* Updated April 8, 2019 at 6:09 a.m.
All Rights Reserved - Do Not Copy These Photos or Videos

     * WILLISTON –
The Levy County Fair completed a four-day series of fun again this year on Sunday evening (April 7).

Levy County Fair 2019
Waste Pro donated its table space to four non-profit groups. They were Thursday: Love Levy Ministry of Morriston; Friday: Doyle Crosby Memorial Food Bank of the First United Methodist Church of Williston; Saturday: The Children’s Table of Bronson; and Sunday: the Cedar Key Food Pantry of Cedar Key. Seen here on Thursday are (from left) Fair Association President Amanda Havard presenting a $250 check to – Jan Large, Arlene Pinkston and Candy Swaggerty all of Love Levy Ministry of Morriston. The fair gave each of these four groups a check for $250 each of the four days. Waste Pro has been a strong sponsor of the Levy County Fair for many years.

In this video, members of Nu-Yu Tae Kwon Do & Fitness (a martial arts school) of Morriston practice before showing people their skills. In this video, some of the students are seen breaking boards. Misti and Sabrina Brice are seen breaking boards simultaneously at the end of this set of clips.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Members of Nu-Yu Tae Kwon Do & Fitness (a martial arts school) of Morriston practice before showing people their skills. Sam Cuomo is an instructor at the school and Rocky Rivera is the master of the school.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Raymond Minor of Major Sound Productions stands behind the control panel for the sound system used this year.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt and County Commission Chairman John Meeks are seen just before taking the stage to help open the fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Some of the volunteers and all of the dignitaries are seen at the start of the fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Four members of the Williston High School Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps present the colors.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
(from left) Cedar Key City Commissioner Susan Rosenthal, Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt and County Commission Vice Chairman Matt Brooks listen to another person speak during the opening ceremonies.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
County Commission Chairman John Meeks welcomes people to the fair, as he thanks the volunteers for their service.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
2018-2019 Miss Levy County Fair Misti Brice pauses for a photo opportunity on the first day of the 2019 Levy County Fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
2018-2019 Miss Levy County Fair Misti Brice pauses for a photo opportunity with County Commissioner Mike Joyner.

     The traditional start was led by Levy County Fair Association President Amanda Havard, who welcomed everyone to the fair on Thursday (April 4)an,d  the event concluded Sunday night with all of the rides, games, livestock competition and other tinhgs cmpleoted Sunday night.
     Before she cut the ribbon to herald the beginning of the fair, members of the Williston High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps presented the colors. Tristen Vega carried the American flag and David Hughes carried the state flag. Jaiden Runion served as the rifleman for the American flag and Delia Creel served as the rifleman for the state flag.
     The WHS JROTC cadets are under the leadership and instruction of (Ret.) Army Chief Warrant Officer Daryl Richardson.
     Leading the pledge of allegiance was 2018-2019 Miss Levy County Fair Misti Brice.
     Vanessa Hass sang a moving rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner. Levy County Commissioner Mike Joyner gave the opening prayer.
     Fair Association President Havard stressed that the 15 or so volunteers are the people who made everything possible at the fair this year. Combined with about 30 sponsors, that is the engine that keeps the annual event going.
     Dignitaries helped Havard open the fair this year, as they have in the past. Each person gave a short statement.
     From the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, there was Chairman John Meeks, Vice Chairman Matt Brooks, County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, and County Commissioner Mike Joyner.
     From the cities, there was Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson, Williston Vice President Marguerite Robinson, Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt and Cedar Key City Commissioner Susan Rosenthal.
     Levy County 4-H Agent Genevieve Mendoza also spoke, reminding listeners of the livestock competition at the fair again this year.
     Debra Jones, a former Williston City Council member, was recognized. She was among the group of people who first restarted the fair in 2006. The county fair had stopped happening for several years prior to its restart.
     With that, President Havard cut the ribbon and the fair started.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
This model of a United State Coast Guard vessel is among the pieces entered in competition. There are various categories where people competed in the county fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
This wooden bench is among the pieces entered in competition in the woodworking category.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Fair food is great. Here, there are pretzel bites next to Heavy B’s Barbecue.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Bruce Greenlee, the owner and head cook of Heavy B’s Barbecue is seen with some of the meat he was smoking for diners. Greenlee enjoys this pastime and profession -- cooking barbecue for people to enjoy.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
This is one of the many places to find great food at the fair this year.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Many, many rides again this year offered fun for people of every age and persuasion. From the relatively gentle rides for small children, to the rather thrilling rides for older riders. ABOVe are a small sample of the Paradise Amusement rides this year. This ride and midway provider has brought great results to the Levy County Fair each year it has served in this capacity,

In this video a dragon roller-coaster provides a gentle ride for people to enjoy.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
In addition to rides, as is the case each year, there were also games. Here Diana Martinez holds balls that can be thrown into garbage cans to win stuffed toys.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Ian Garden of Ocala brought camels from Camel Kingdom to let people take camel rides at the Levy County Fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Sheyla Garden, 16, of Ocala provided face painting for $5 per sitting. Several people enjoyed this opportunity to have their faces painted during the fair. The young Miss Garden is very thoughtful, as reflected by her pointing out that the aquatic performers this year are among the entertainment that a person may want to visit. She mentioned that her family is originally from Venezuela.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Brenda Heberling, a volunteer, served as the leader for the livestock competition. She directed all judges and entrants to their proper stations. Once again, the livestock competition was great at the Levy County Fair.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Some of the ribbons and belt buckles awarded at the fair this year are seen here.

2019 Levy County Fair Jeff Hardison
Debra Jones (left) and Kristina Zachry are both very experienced with serving at the Levy County Fair -- for many years. Jones is among the charter board memers for the fair. Zachry continues helping people not start using tobacco or finding ways to quit.

Levy County Fair 2019 Jeff M. Hardison
Erica Estrada, 11, of Dunnellon Middle FFA is seen with her English Angora rabbit that is eight months old. She named the rabbit ‘Fluffy’ and this was the first competition for the animal.


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112th Jingle Performer

Tom Lowe of Trenton sings the Jingle on March 22, 2019 at Camp Anderson during the Man Up! event. Lowe is among the members of the worship band at the camp. He also teaches guitar to children during summer camp there. If you want to sing the jingle, just let Jeff M. Hardison know or send an email to He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it. (Thanks people!)
Published April 15, 2019 at 6:49 a.m.

© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved
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