TUESDAY SEPT. 21 10:11 a.m. Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
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Students learn while working
(from left) Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Rick Washburn stands with people from WBLE -- Director Mandy Brock, Juan Henley, Nathan Allen, Dalton Hitchcock, Ian Hickey, Andrea Bagby, Braxton Bivens and April Akins.
Story and Photo Provided
By Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Rick Washburn
Published Sept. 21, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
TRENTON -- The Gilchrist County Rotary Club welcomeD a very amazing group at its meeting this week, when the meeting was conducted at the Trenton Woman's Club on Monday (Sept. 20).
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The great students and teachers from Bell and Trenton who are involved with the ‘Work Based Learning Experience” (WBLE) Program were the club's guests, as well as the day's program presenters.
The WBLE is a relatively new program to Gilchrist County Schools only beginning about three years ago under the direction of April Akins.
This year there are 11 Bell and nine Trenton students who are benefiting from this program under the direction of Mandy Brock.
Designed for students in grades nine and past grade 12, up to age 22 years old, the WBLE works with local business owners to provide work-based training and hands on working in a real work environment.
The kids (and adults) benefit by building skills and behaviors that are required for the workplace, gain confidence and self-esteem. The program provides learners with guidance in preparing résumés and has helped participants in the development of their interview skills.
The goal of the program is to transition the students from school into a job placement.
This year, the program has seen students find work. The effort is paying off.
Funded through a vocational rehabilitation program, the WBLE program has raised funds for vehicles to transport students to the businesses where they are working, including a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Teachers Andrea Bagby at Bell and Juan Henley at Trenton highlighted some of the values of the program before sharing a slideshow with the students at various businesses and events in the area. Quick stories were shared of how a student would help an auto parts store organize its backroom shelves, a floral shop clean up after the preparation of a planter, a local business with cleaning of their vehicles, the landscaping and sanitation done for the school buildings and the monthly assistance with the local food bank.
The Rotarians and other guests beyond the WBLE were then introduced to four incredible young men Nathan, Dalton, Ian and Braxton as they shared some of their experiences with the program and the jobs they perform weekly.
They each beamed with pride in sharing what they did and some skills they learned. Skills such as having a schedule for each day and following it, performing tasks for different classes and areas and knowing what needs to be done and gathering/sorting and distributing mail for both school locations were mentioned by these participants.
The list of local businesses who have partnered with the WBLE program include restaurants/cafeterias, floral shops, kid care/pre-K, a library, retail stores, manufacturing, farming and a senior center. There is something special about local businesses who invest in the lives of the students that makes the future of this great county look even brighter.
Please contact Mandy Brock, Director of Special Programs at 352-463-3153 if you are interested in partnering your business with this great program.
Free webinar set for Thursday - Sept. 23
offers financial insight
By Financial Advisor Sheila K. Smith of Edward Jones
Published Sept. 20, 2021 at 12:11 p.m.
NEWBERRY -- The year 2020 started off right where 2019 had left off, but market conditions quickly changed as the pandemic spread globally.
The road ahead could be bumpy, but we believe the economy will continue to recover throughout 2021.
In this presentation via a webinar, the following key topics and questions facing investors today are scheduled to be covered:
1. Will the economy rebound?
2. What role will stimulus play?
3. Do stocks still have room to run?
4. Where will interest rates go from here?
5. Last year's winners could be this year's losers
6. Looking at the long run
Important Webinar Details:
Date and time: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. (Eastern)
If you'd like to attend, click the following link. Please note, you no longer need to dial in to hear the audio presentation. If the link does not work, please copy and paste it into your computer's address bar.
Meeting password: Thursday
If you will join from a mobile device:
Download the Cisco WebEx app at the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).
You will receive an email from Edward Jones containing a link to join.
Your screen will list four Audio Connection options. Choose the second option, "Call Me".
On the next screen click "Add Phone Number".
Enter your phone number and then click the plus sign.
For help, visit web conference help. If you need further assistance, please contact us at 352-472-2776.
Are Your Loved Ones
Prepared To Be Caregivers?
Published July 21, 2021 at 12:11 p.m.
NEWBERRY -- Once you’re retired and your children are grown, they are likely “off the books,” as far as your financial responsibility for them is concerned.
Yet, you’re probably still prepared to do anything to help them – but are they ready to take care of you if the need arises?
Consider this: Almost half of retirees say that the ideal role in retirement is providing support to family and other loved ones, according to the Edward Jones/Age Wave study titled Four Pillars of the New Retirement: What a Difference a Year Makes – and a slightly earlier version of the same study found that 72 percent of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their family members.
So, if you are recently retired or plan to retire in the next few years, you may need to reconcile your desire to help your adult children or other close relatives with your concern that you could become dependent on them. You’ll need to consider whether your loved ones can handle caregiving responsibilities, which frequently include financial assistance. If they did have to provide some caregiving services for you, could they afford it? About 80% of caregivers now pay for some caregiving costs out of their own pockets – and one in five caregivers experience significant financial strain because of caregiving, according to a recent AARP report.
One way to help your family members is to protect yourself from the enormous expense of long-term care. The average cost for a private room in a nursing home is now over $100,000 a year, according to the insurance company Genworth. Medicare won’t pay much, if any, of these costs, so you may want to consult with a financial advisor, who can suggest possible ways of addressing long-term care expenses.
Even if you don’t require a long stay in a nursing home, you still might need some assistance in the future, especially if your health or mental capacities decline. So, start talking to your loved ones about their possible roles if you should ever need caregiving.
You may want to create a caregiving arrangement that specifies payment for caregiving services and outlines the expenses to be reimbursed if paid out of pocket by a caregiver. Also, you may want to create the appropriate legal documents, such as a durable power of attorney for health care, which enables someone to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for finances, which allows you to name someone to make your financial decisions if you become unable to do so yourself. A legal professional can help you make these arrangements and incorporate them into your overall estate plan. A financial advisor can suggest ways of preparing for the costs involved with caregiving and can direct you to relevant resources, such as social services provided by your city or county.
Clearly, there’s much you can do to help shield your family from the financial strain of caregiving. But you are not alone: By drawing on other resources and outside help, you can ease the burden on your loved ones. And everyone will feel more secure when you have your arrangements in place.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Edward Jones Financial Advisor - Sheila K. Smith, 25349 W. Newberry Road, in Newberry. Phone 352-472-2776.
Cedar Key Historical Society Museum
unveils new interactive exhibit
Edward Gonzales-Tennant, Ph.D., unveils the exhibit that includes information kiosk.
Story and Photos
By C.L. Watson, HardisonInk Correspondent
© Sept. 18, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The Cedar Key Historical Society held a members’ and invitation-only unveiling of the African American Exhibit on Aug. 28.
No vacant seats for the unveiling of African American exhibit. Attendance required the groups be split in two to fit in the available space of Lutterloh building and Andrews house.
Albert Fulton, Brian Dempsey, Leon Fuller and Carolyn Cohens were all guest speakers during the unveiling of the African American exhibit at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum.
Guests were entertained by Reggie Stacy in the Lutterloh building during the unveiling of the African American exhibit the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum.
The event had such a great attendance it had to be split into being conducted in two buildings at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, 609 Second St. in Cedar Key. One group of guests enjoyed entertainment by Reggie Stacy while the other group listened to the guest speakers.
Stacy is a Bronson resident who sings country music, southern rock, songs from the 1980s and 1990s and Gospel music.
Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, Ph.D., opened the unveiling by thanking Cedar Key Historical Society Executive Director Anna White Hodges and her husband Mike Hodges for their contribution to the event. Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant thanked Diana Gonzalez-Tennant for creating the exhibit.
When asked what led to the development of this new exhibit, Cedar Key Historical Society Executive Director Hodges answered that it was a missing part of Cedar Key’s diverse cultural history.
Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant spoke about the rich black history in the Cedar Keys. Among the examples from the 1880s included a one-time city mayor, a constable and two aldermen who were all of African descent.
Local author Carolyn Cohens of Chiefland, who wrote two books on Levy County, was the second speaker. Her book titled Levy County is part of the Black American Series and was published in 2006. Cohens is known for her artwork as well, and she has historically sreved as the emcee during an annual event in the Levy County Courthouse during Black History Month.
Cohens highlighted photos and composing stories from this book. The second book is part of the Images of America series titled Levy County was published in 2009. Cohens introduced descendants of early African American brothers Fulton Strong and Dan Strong to the guests. The descendants who shared brief moments growing up around the area were Albert Fulton, Brian Dempsey and Leon Fuller. Gregory Black with the Rosewood Heritage Foundation spoke about being a descendant of the early Rosewood settlers.
Lastly, speaker Sheree Dupree spoke. She introduced herself as being involved with Levy County for more than 40 years. She highlighted historic African American churches and schools located on the island of Cedar Key.
Following the guest speakers, Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant returned to unveil an informational kiosk and the African American Exhibit. The exhibit and rack cards were funded through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. There were 2,000 rack cards printed for distribution at the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum and throughout Levy County.
The flyers contain a timeline of local African American history from 1860 to 1950. The other side of the flyer has a scannable QR code that is directed to the Cedar Key African American History walking tour website.
The Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, 609 2nd St., Cedar Key includes two historic buildings for guests to tour. The cost for non-members is $3 per person.
It is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and it is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the nonprofit organization’s website at https://cedarkeyhistory.org/ for upcoming events.
Career Source Citrus Levy Marion
provides monthly jobs report
By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
Published Sept. 18, 2021 at %:11 p.m.
OCALA -- The number of unemployed fell over the month in August and employment was up throughout most of the of the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region.
The unemployment rate inched down 0.1 percentage point over the month to 5.6 percent, a rate 1.6 percentage points lower than the year ago rate of 7.2 percent.
Across the three-county region, the labor force was 213,713, up 14,186 over the year and 166 more than in July. The number of those with jobs rose by 479 over the month to 201,835, an increase of 16,645 compared to August 2020. The number of unemployed fell by 313 since July to 11,878, which is a drop of 2,459 compared to the number out of work a year ago.
According to the most recent release of preliminary employment numbers by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 5.0 percent, down 0.2 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed with a rate of 5.4 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 6.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 5.0 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point over the month and 3.2 percent lower than August 2020.
The nonagricultural employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, was 108,300 in July, an increase of 4,000 jobs over the year for a 3.8 percent annual growth rate.
The Ocala MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in manufacturing at 8.5 percent.
In the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all of Citrus County, there were 32,700 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 800 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent.
“The good news in today’s release is the long-term growth and rebounding of the labor market in our three-county area,” Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said.
The local CareerSource leader continued.
“Over the past year, each county has seen significant growth in their labor force and employment, while also seeing the decline in the number of unemployed citizens,” Skinner said.
Skinner said that August is typically a month when the jobs report reflects fluctuations across all three counties.
“Marion County, while remaining strong, showed dips in labor force and employed, while also showing reductions in the number of unemployed,” he said. “These variations are generally seen as a seasonal downward trend.”
Skinner said that Citrus and Levy counties, on the other hand, bucked the historic summer trend by showing expansions in labor force and employment coupled with a slight drop in the number of unemployed.
Here is a breakdown of the August’s jobs numbers for each county:
Citrus County’s labor force expanded over the month by 496 to 49,146, the number of employed rose by 568 to 46,044, and the number of unemployed fell by 72 to 3,102. Compared to August 2020 when the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent, the labor force grew by 2,849, there were 3,439 more employed and 580 fewer unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force grew by 206 to 17,814, the number of those with jobs increased by 226 to 16,923, and the number of jobless decreased by 20 to 891. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 5.7 percent, those numbers represent 1,323 more in the labor force, an increase of 1,367 with jobs, and a decrease of 44 unemployed.
Marion County’s labor force contracted by 536 to 146,753, the number of those with jobs decreased by 315 to 138,868, and the number of unemployed dropped by 221 to 7,885. Compared to the same time last year, when the jobless rate was 7.1 percent, the labor force grew by 10,014, the number of employed increased by 11,849 and the number of unemployed dropped by 1,835.
Among Florida’s 67 counties, Citrus County’s unemployment rate was the sixth highest; Marion County ranked 13th highest; and Levy County tied for 19th with Charlotte, Lake, Liberty, and Orange counties.
The Homosassa Springs MSA held the fourth highest among the state’s 24 metros and the Ocala MSA was sixth.
In the Ocala MSA, manufacturing (+800 new jobs for an 8.5 percent annual growth rate); mining, logging, and construction (+300 jobs for an increase of 3.5 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+800 jobs for a growth rate increase of 3.1 percent); and government (+100 jobs, up 0.7 percent) grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
Other industries gaining jobs over the year were in the Ocala MSA were leisure and hospitality, which added 1,300 new jobs; education and health services, up 400 jobs; other services, which added 200 jobs; and professional and business services, which added 100 jobs.
The information and financial activities industries were unchanged over the month, while no industry sectors reported job losses.
Three Take Oath
One Gets Married
Three recently reelected members of the Chiefland City Commission took the oath of office Monday evening (Sept. 13) as Levy County Court Judge James Browning (at right) administered it. The guys taking the oath (from left) are Rollin Hudson, Christ Jones and Norman Weaver. After this, the City Commission voted 5-0 to keep Mayor Chris Jones and Vice Mayor Norman Weaver in their positions just as they were the previous year.
In action before that swearing-in ceremony, present for the three-month review of City Manager Laura Cain are (from left) City Commissioner Lance Hayes, Mayor Chris Jones, City Commissioner Lewrissa Johns and City Commissioner Norman Weaver. Commissioner Rollin Hudson was absent from that special meeting that started at 5:30 p.m.
City Manager (and Ex-Officio City Clerk) Laura Cain (left) and Deputy City Clerk Belinda Wilkerson listen as the four City Commission members present for the special meeting Sept. 13 speak about the city manager during the three-month review.
City Commissioner Lewrissa Johns, formerly Lewrissa Mainwaring, sits behind her new name plate in Chiefland City Hall on Sept. 13. On Aug. 21, she married Neal Johns.
Photos By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 14, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
Dixie County Chamber of Commerce
takes care of business
Dixie County Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Rains is assisted by Chamber Secretary Melanie Anderson.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 10, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
CROSS CITY – The Dixie County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 9) took care of business during its regular monthly meeting.
Chamber President Andrew Rains led the meeting and Chamber Secretary Melanie Anderson took notes.
The financial report created by Treasurer Debbie Dembo was accepted.
Steven Smith of Edward Jones Investments provided lunch and served as the guest speaker. He shared information about the need to put stock market declines in perspective, as well as offering other general information provided by Edward Jones.
Smith recently achieved status as a Certified Financial Planner and he was sporting a stylish CFP lapel pin as well as wearing a bow-tie that he purchased to celebrate this significant accomplishment.
The Certified Financial Planner designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in the United States.
Among the topics discussed beyond what the keynote speaker shared was more detail about finding volunteers for the many aspects of the 2022 Dixie County Expo and Fly-In.
To see more about that drive for volunteers, please click HERE to see the previously published story.
Among the many other people attending this month’s luncheon meeting, held in the Dixie County Public Library in Cross City were Carol West, Jeff Carey, Linda Stoddard, Jennifer Long, Nickie Tramel, Beverly Pivacek, Heather Smith and Debbie DeWeese.
NCBDC takes care of business
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 10, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
INGLIS – The Nature Coast Business Development Council Board of Directors completed its business for the month in a relatively short meeting Thursday afternoon (Sept. 9).
The members and guests present reviewed the following and approved – the August Meeting Minutes and August Financial Report.
The meeting included information on progress in recruiting a new executive director. George Buckner III, one of the NCBDC Board members, noted this process is ongoing with no firm single candidate yet. The previous executive director resigned to accept a position in Citrus County government.
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is assisting the Levy County Board of County Commissioners in providing supplemental services to help attract and keep a future executive director, although the hiring of that person and the directions to that future director will be under the NCBDC Board of Directors, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion Chief Executive Officer Rusty Skinner told HardisonInk.com in a separate telephone interview on Thursday afternoon.
Also, during the Zoom meeting of the NCBDC Board on Sept. 9, members discussed the NCBDC Annual Report that was submitted to Levy County this week.
During the open discussion part of the meeting, Williston City Manager Jackie Gorman joined on the Zoom meeting and teleconference call. She provided the NCBDC with an update on the economic-related items in Williston, which show that municipality’s progress.
Since the NCBDC Board membership currently includes two or more members of the Levy County RESTORE Act subcommittee, this meeting served as a meeting of the RESTORE Act subcommittee as well. That subcommittee has not needed to perform action for a while because its projects are complete, as far as the committee’s part in them so far.
Any members of the public wishing to bring related matters before the NCBDC Board may do so by contacting the currently vacant post of the Executive Director via email at email@example.com. That email is monitored for activity. That board has been meeting monthly, primarily via Zoom since the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCBDC is an entity that evolved from an original group formed in 1985 in Levy County, which is and was committed to fostering economic prosperity and the highest quality of life in the communities it serves – with those communities being the unincorporated Levy County as well as all eight incorporated municipalities of the county.
FGC Automotive Program
presents Top Tech Award
Seen here are (from left) are Trevor Johnson; Don Ryburn, Matco Tools; and Steve Adler, FGC Auto Tech Instructor during the award presentation event.
Story and Photos Provided
By FGC Public Information Specialist Stephen Culotti
Published Sept. 9, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
LAKE CITY – On Tuesday (Sept. 7), the Florida Gateway College Automotive Program and Matco Tools recognized Trevor Johnson as the Top Tech of FGC’s 2019 cohort.
Seen here are (from left) are Don Ryburn, Matco Tools; Steve Adler, FGC Auto Tech Instructor; Trevor Johnson; Ashley Carter, Rountree Moore Toyota General Manager; Scott Stephens, Morgan Auto Group Field Operations Director; Jennifer Dempsey, Rountree Moore Toyota Service Manager; and Dan Shelley, Morgan Auto Group Regional Director.
The award was presented at Rountree Moore Toyota in Lake City, where Johnson works as an Express Technician and is being promoted to Main Shop Technician this month.
“We are really proud of Trevor’s hard work both in the classroom and in the shop,” said Steve Adler, FGC Automotive Technology Instructor. “He has a promising career ahead of him.”
Johnson graduated from FGC’s Automotive Technology program this summer and is the first recipient of the Top Tech honor. The award is given to one student each year based on a combination of final grades in program courses and completion of ASE Certification tests.
In addition to the award, Johnson was given a prize package of tools courtesy of Matco Tools, and his name will be added to a plaque on permanent display in the FGC Automotive Technology Department.
Florida producers encouraged to apply
for USDA Pandemic Assistance
before Oct. 12 deadline
By FDACS Office of Communications
Published Sept. 8, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE -- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced updates to a key pandemic assistance program for agriculture producers.
The updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2) include expanded eligibility and increased flexibility. USDA has set a deadline of Oct. 12 for eligible producers to apply or modify CFAP2 applications.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are encouraging eligible Florida producers to review the program modifications and to apply via local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices before the Oct. 12 deadline.
Modifications to the CFAP2program include:
● Expanding assistance to eligible breeding stock and eggs of all eligible poultry types produced under contract;
● Providing flexibility for contract producers to use eligible revenue from 2018 rather than 2019 if it is more representative;
● Additional flexibilities to account for operation sizes and new contract producers;
● Amended calculation for sales-based commodities to allow producers to substitute 2018 sales for 2019 sales; and
● The addition of grass seed as an eligible commodity.
“Florida’s agriculture industry suffered catastrophic losses due to pandemic-related market disruptions – with our seasonal crop producers experiencing over $500 million in crop losses in the first few months of 2020 alone,” Commissioner Fried said. “While we know the federal relief programs won’t cover the full extent of the harm felt since the start of the pandemic, they are providing much-needed direct financial assistance to our farmers in the face of continued challenges.
“I am hopeful these updates will allow for more Florida farmers to benefit, and strongly encourage all eligible producers to apply if you have not yet done so to take advantage of this assistance before the October deadline,” she added.
Full details and application forms can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus/pandemic-assistance/cfap2 and other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus/pandemic-assistance/cfap2/apply.
For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with their FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.
Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.
Andra Johnson named
next dean of UF/IFAS Extension
Dr. Andra Johnson
Photo courtesy of The University of Pennsylvania
Story By Samantha Murray
UF/IFAS Senior Public Relations Specialist
Published Sept. 7, 2021 at 1:11 p.m.
GAINESVILLE -- Andra Johnson, associate director of Penn State Extension, will be the next dean of UF/IFAS Extension and director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Florida announced today (Tuesday, Sept. 7).
Johnson will assume the role on Nov. 1.
Johnson will lead the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ statewide network of more than 650 faculty educators and scientists, whose programs and expertise support economic, environmental and community health. These programs range from field days for new crops to youth leadership experiences.
“Dr. Johnson brings energy and vitality to raising the profile of Extension. Our goal is to make an even greater impact on the millions of Floridians served by UF/IFAS outreach every year,” said J. Scott Angle, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS.
Dixie County hears
about McGriff Channel project
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 4, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
OLD TOWN – Carol West, among the core of champions of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce and the Suwannee River Chamber of Commerce, provided the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners and others with an update on the potential dredging of the McGriff Channel in the Suwannee River.
Right now, it does not look as if it will happen; however, West brought a ray of hope with her message to the County Commission at the Thursday morning (Sept. 2) meeting.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District had proposed a project for maintenance dredging of the McGriff Channel at Suwannee River to restore the channel depth and width for safe and efficient navigation along the length of the extant federal navigation project.
The proposed dredging would take place at McGriff Pass (Wadley Pass), at the mouth of the Suwannee River in Dixie County, according to records, and this proposal encompasses a portion of the Suwannee River Federal Navigation Project, which borders Levy and Dixie counties.
The Jacksonville district proposed to dredge 50,000 to 60,000 cubic yards of material for placement at Cat Island, restoring beach area lost in recent decades to erosion and sea level rise.
The placement of that material would have beneficially created about 10 acres of bird habitat, and it would have helped to protect archaeological deposits affected by erosion.
The project had been tentatively scheduled to be constructed from December 2021 through March 2022 to avoid impacting the Gulf sturgeon migration period.
The McGriff Pass re-dredging project, West said, was cancelled due to economic report created by the an economist working for the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps reportedly believes “… the benefits of this project were from recreational boat traffic were only 20 cents on the dollar, and their goal is dollar-for-dollar,” West noted.
Therefore, the estimated $5 million project cost is not justified, according to the economist who was paid by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Contact has been made with the University of Florida, West said, and the university indicated a possibility of its own economic analysis coming to fruition at no cost to Dixie County.
If the hope for UF’s project falls through, West is asking for the county to partner with some other interest to have an accurate economic impact analysis finished to show benefits of clearing this channel.
West said this re-dredging project is vital to the area, not only recreationally but economically. She promised to update the County Commission with progress on this possible project.
Let EASI help your business
deal with sick time losses
By Employee Administrative Services Inc.
Published Sept. 3, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
CITRUS COUNTY -- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides sick time tax credits for employees taking sick time due to COVID-19.
This legislation pays for two-thirds of employees' pay rates for up to 80 hours per employee. The sick leave conditions are not only for actual sick time, but time employees take to get tested, vaccinated, and recovery time from vaccinations.
Time and attendance can be tricky enough on its own, yet the global COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more complicated. With COVID numbers continuing to rise, make sure your company is managing sick leave as efficiently as possible with the updated regulations (and getting paid by the government to do so).
Schedule a consultation with Eric Sokolsky of Employee Administrative Services Inc. (EASI) now by clicking HERE.
Learn how People Lease can help your company utilize the maximum FFCRA sick leave credits as everyone goes through this current wave of the pandemic.
COVID-19 has hit and affected everyone, including EASI, so this company knows how disruptive it can be for any business. EASI has successfully utilized the most up-to-date FFCRA tax credits and regulations, for itself and its clients leaving EASI with first-hand knowledge that can help any business.
million hits average in 2021
unique visitors average in 2021
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 1, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
All Rights Reserved
THE WORLD – The daily news website named HardisonInk.com continues to thrive its 11th year of existence thanks to people using it for information, education and entertainment, according to two independent third-party robotic measuring devices -- Google Analytics and cPanel – providing records for August traffic.
Jeff M. Hardison, owner, publisher and sole proprietor doing business as HardisonInk.com shared his perspective on some news regarding the website’s 11th year in business.
In the first eight months of 2021, the daily news website is averaging 10,000 unique visitors and one million hits a month.
HardisonInk.com began its 11th year on Feb. 1, 2021.
The August number of unique visitors for 2021 was 10,682, according to a review of the robotic measuring programs early this morning (Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021).
Hardison said he is thankful to God for all things. The sole proprietor of this small business said he is grateful to the individuals who continue reading and viewing of stories, photos and videos, which shows a strong base of people as the daily news website moves forward through its 11th year of service.
The business owner said he extremely appreciates other local small business owners and interests who continue to buy ads to sponsor HardisonInk.com.
The first gauge reflects Unique Visitors.
Webopedia.com defines unique visitor as "a person who visits a website more than once within a specified period of time."
Software used for this report can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors -- who return to the site.
The unique visitor is different from a site's hits or page views -- which are measured by the number of files that are requested from a site. Unique visitors are measured according to their unique Internet Protocol addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site after they have visited it twice.
“I look forward to every second in 2021,” Hardison said. “No matter what happens, I am going to remember this is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
“Like many other people, I mourn the loss of people and pets that have passed away recently,” he added.
The Unique Visitors Monthly total for the 31 days of August was 10,682.
“I remember one month during the first year,” Hardison said, “when I thought 800 was a lot of unique visitors to be touching the daily news website in a month. With the most recent monthly report of computer addresses visiting the daily news website, I am confident and proud to sell ads at the same rate that was good when there were only 800 a month.”
There has been zero increased cost for advertisers who sponsor the daily news website – other than the short-term advertisers since its start in 2011, he continued. Also, the ads on the side grew from being 260-pixels wide to being 300-pixels wide now.
NUMBER OF VISITS
Another measure of traffic is the number of visits.
The August Number Of Visits was 25,150.
Pages Viewed shows how many of the seven different pages the visitors looked at. This website has the Home Page, Police Page, Calendar Page, Business Page, Community Page, Life Page and the Leisure Page.
The Pages Viewed in August was 57,609 pages.
The Hits for August is 1,090,307. That is more than a million.
What is a “hit?” When a viewer looks at a page, there are elements on the page that register a “hit.” For instance, if there are four pictures on a page, then that equals four “hits.” Like all the gauges, this is a measure of traffic.
All measurements combined show that the daily news website is continuing its trend of progress each year – despite a loss of readers who died.
“These figures herald the fact that many people each day use HardisonInk.com as a source for information,” Hardison said. “And they return daily. The data surprised me a little today (Sept. 1, 2021), because with the COVID-19 global pandemic, I anticipated seeing a more marked drop in traffic. More than 40,000 Floridians have died so far. The death toll of Americans and people in every country from COVID-19, according to medical professionals who record this type of information, is enough to have an impact on every facet of life on the globe.”
HardisonInk.com continues to provide readers, viewers and listeners with news and human interest stories, photos and videos. Business owners and others see this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news every day -- as well as picking up statewide news, national news and international news.
People know there are no bounds for where HardisonInk.com coverage will go as it informs, educates and entertains people.
This website is the best medium in this market to advertise, which is proved by the traffic numbers as well as the results seen by sponsors.
This daily news website has the Weather Bug on the Home Page for all current weather and forecasting needs, including radar and Weather Alerts. It has columns for quilt reports, Christian devotionals, Exploring Finances and more.
HardisonInk.com provides state news on occasion when it is merited. And there have been national and international stories on the seven pages.
CHECK OUT THE ARCHIVES
The St. Petersburg, Florida native said his wife is a vital part of the reason for such a high success rate for the website.
"I thank God for bringing Sharon Hardison into my life more than 35 years ago now," Jeff Hardison said. "She does so much for me, that it continues to fill me with awe daily. Sharon is the multiple award-winning graphic artist who creates most of the ads. She is my bookkeeper who provides information to my accountant, too. The archive page is from her work. Go to any of the seven pages and find the ad for the archive page on the bottom right column and click on it.
"A new window will open," he continued. "Just go to the month you want and scroll down. If you see a link that looks interesting, click on it. CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS on YouTube.com.”
There are a couple of different main sites for YouTube.com sites with videos by Jeff M. Hardison. Here are two links – click HERE for one main site and click HERE for the other main site.
ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING
HardisonInk.com is visible for free to anyone who can see pages on the Internet. Therefore, people all over the world – and in the International Space Station – can view it.
This site is subscription-free entirely because of its sponsors. Not only do advertisers help the people in the world (and astronauts in space) see Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, but those business interests enjoy the most exposure for the least ad dollars spent.
"We don't use pop-up ads," Hardison said. "Our ads don't move around by the minute. And I promote our advertisers in other places in addition to HardisonInk.com. I have removed the national ads. Those used to be placed by a broker who would pay me to have them on my site. Some of them had automatic videos, which I found unwanted."
HardisonInk.com is the best daily news website that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties (and beyond).
HardisonInk.com provides the best return on investment of dollars spent on advertising in the world, because people all over the world see it. As for interests in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, the same is true because the Tri-County Area is the primary focal point of news coverage. This is Year 11.
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