Palms Medical Group schedules
Job Recruitment Event
tomorrow Nov. 13 in Gainesville

Published Oct. 14, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.
Updated Nov. 12, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.
Palms Medical Group has scheduled a job recruitment event to be in Gainesville from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 -- tomorrow.


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CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion

     This is set to be at the Best Western Gateway Grand, 4200 N.W. 97th Blvd., in Gainesville.
     Managers will be at the event to conduct on-the-spot interviews of candidates seeking jobs with Palms Medical Group.
     For the people wondering why they will enjoy working as part of the Palms Medical Group team, Palms Medical Group is a compassionate, patient-focused healthcare provider.
     The professional team covers a wide range of services at multiple locations throughout North Florida.
     Palms Medical Group offers competitive pay, paid holidays, a generous amount of paid time off, a generous benefits package that includes employer funded life insurance, substantial employer contributions to health coverage, and optional dental, supplemental life, and Aflac plans.
     Palms Medical Group also offers quarterly incentives to its employees.
     The rewards of working at Palms Medical Group extend beyond the monetary. Employees of Palms Medical Group have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of patients in a friendly, compassionate, and professional setting. From Patient Advocate to Medical Doctor, all of the team members work toward the well-being of patients. At Palms Medical Group, everyone’s contributions are
critical to the success of the team.
     Palms Medical Group is now hiring Nurses - CNA, LPN, CMA; Financial Services Representatives; Patient Advocates; Finance Clerks; Marketing and Outreach Staff; Medical Providers; Dental Assistants; and Pharmacy Technicians.
     For these positions and others, applicants can save time by applying in advance at by clicking HERE
     For more information, please contact Jessica Bongiavonni the HR Recruiter at

EMT information session
at CF Levy Campus on Nov. 19

Published Oct. 17, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.
Updated Nov. 12, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.
The College of Central Florida’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program is hosting an information session on Monday, Nov. 19, from 6-7 p.m. at the Levy Campus, 15390 N.W. U.S. Highway 19, Chiefland.
     This is at the Jack Wilkinson Campus – north of Chiefland and south of the City of Fanning Springs on the west side of U.S. Highway 19.
     The deadline for applications is Monday, Nov. 26.
     The EMT program is a 15-week course that includes lectures, skills labs and clinical experiences on ambulances and in an emergency department. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for state certification and may find work as an EMT on ambulances, in hospitals, in industrial settings and more.
     Spring classes start Jan. 7 at the Levy Campus four days a week from 6-10 p.m.
     For more information or to fill out an application, call 352-658-4077., or visit

SCORE offers free
disaster preparedness workshop
on Tuesday, Nov. 20

Published Oct. 29, 2018 at 9:08 p.m.
SCORE of Citrus County and Levy County is offering a workshop for business owners to be better prepared for a disaster.
     This event is being conducted at the College of Central Florida,  15390 N.W. U.S. Highway 19, north of Chiefland, in Room 202.
     It is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and it is absolutely free.
     What constitutes a critical incident? It is any incident that exceeds your "normal capacity" to respond.
     That could be anything from a power outage to a hurricane. If a business owner has a disaster plan (critical incident plan), then he or she will increase his or her normal capacity and make some critical incidents into manageable incidents.
     This workshop will provide participants with the tools to develop a disaster plan for their businesses.
     For the individuals who need help beyond that - SCORE will be happy to provide them with on-site planning assistance.
     SCORE will provide checklist and planning tools that can work for any size or type of business.  This could be the most valuable time an owner can spend for his or her business.
     The presenter at this workshop is Jim Green -- a Certified Risk Manager and Certified SCORE Mentor.
     He has provided disaster planning assistance to many businesses across the United States as a Consultant. He will bring his expertise to this workshop and to any business for FREE.


Winner accepts certificate

Debra Appling smiles as she holds the certificate next to the front door of BubbaQue's in Chiefland on Sunday (Nov. 11, Veterans Day). That restaurant opened for its day of service at 11 a.m. and this photo was taken before that time.

Photo, Story and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 11, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
Debra Appling accepted her certificate for a a pit ham or a smoked turkey from BubbaQue's on Sunday morning (Nov. 11).

In this video, both Goldy and Inky are being called. Goldy responded more quickly and she made the pick.

     She was the winner from the many people who provided several entries in the contest. Appling accepted the certificate Sunday morning (Nov. 11 - Veterans Day) in front of the entrance to the BubbaQue's in Chiefland.
     The winner was extremely happy to learn that she won. Due to a family healthcare emergency, she was unable to answer the call for her win until today (Sunday, Nov. 11). This certificate award served as a bright spot for her day.
     In this video, both Goldy the cat Hardison and Inky the cat Hardison are being called to choose a winner. Goldy responded more quickly and she made the pick.
     It was thanks to that magnificent effort by Goldy the cat Hardison, senior mascot of, that a winner has been selected for the most recent contest. (As seen in the video).
     After Goldy completed her mission, Inky the cat said “Murp” which is a mix of a meow while she is purring. Inky the cat Hardison also left her claw marks on the certificate, but not to the point that a new one had to be printed.
     As promised the winner was announced yesterday (Saturday, Dec. 10) on
     This contest resulted thanks to BubbaQue's and
     The next contest starts Dec. 1 and will result in the awarding of two tickets to see the play A Charlie Brown Christmas to be performed by the Suwannee Valley Players.


Public hearing set
for garbage haulers on Dec. 18

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 7, 2018 at 1:48 p.m.
Updated Nov. 12, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.
     BRONSON –
A public hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 18 at 9 a.m. (or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard during the regular meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners that day) in the County Commission Meeting Room to consider the adoption of a resolution electing to seek one or more exclusive franchises for hauling garbage in Levy County.
     On Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 7) Levy County Director of Solid Waste Rod Hastings explained two concepts related to garbage service in Levy County.
     The first idea is flow control. Hastings said the county does not want operators to haul solid waste (garbage) to a landfill or other site outside of Levy County. The solid waste transfer site located between Bronson and Williston is the proper place for disposal of garbage generated in Levy County.
      The people of Levy County have an interest here, he explained, because the county has invested in capital expenses at the transfer station, and the state government expects the county to continue to see a flow of garbage to keep this operation viable.
     The next question relates to the county licensing franchises to collect garbage in Levy County.
     Director Hastings said this will help with litter control outside the gates of the transfer station. As haulers go from the points of collection and then travel on the highways and byways of the county, they may not have trailers properly tarped, or they may be leaking smelly run-off on the roads.
     By the Levy County allowing only licensed franchisers, this will help the county reduce the odds of these issues happening – which is a source for the litter seen on the sides of some roads.
     As for the county mandating garbage pickup service, Hasting said that not being considered. People can pay a hauler or they can bring their own garbage to the transfer station.
     The previous per-bag fee is gone. The $116-a-year fee on improved properties in Levy County covers that cost.
     Professional haulers delivering Levy County garbage to the Levy County Solid Waste Transfer Site no longer have to pay tipping fees either.
     The plan for future satellite drop-off places for solid waste transfer, however, continues being discussed by County Commissioner Matt Brooks and Hastings.
     By creating satellite drop-off locations, Hastings said he believes this will help people who live far away from the dump. Part of this plan may include a licensed franchiser with the county to provide the transport service from these county-owned, county-maintained satellite garbage drop-off locations to the main transfer station located between Bronson and Williston. experiences
1.5 million hits
in one month again

Statistics Show is very strong

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 3, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
     THE WORLD –
One and a half million hits is a significant number of hits, and 12,000 unique visitors is worth mentioning as well.
     The number of unique visitors looking at stories, photos and videos on reflects another wonderful month's results as the daily news website continues its growth in its eighth year of existence – as reflected by success in October.
     Year 8 of started Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 with great gains as usual.
     The monthly report for October shows traffic to is strong, according to two independent, automated, third-party traffic-registering programs -- Google Analytics and cPanel.
    There were 12,135 unique visitors in October to, according to these trusted third-party automated measuring devices.
     The 2018 average monthly number of unique visitors to this daily news website is 14,822.
     Jeff Hardison, publisher and owner of, said he is thankful to God for all things.
     Beyond that, he added, he is thankful for the continued growth, which shows a strong base of loyal readers, viewers and listeners as the daily news website moves forward through its eighth year of existence, which just started
     “The April and May numbers were down a tad,” Hardison said. “We lost three days of any traffic being counted in May because we had to add an ‘s’ to the ‘http’ for security and to register with Google. I presume the hyper-text transfer protocol is even better with an ‘s’ on it.”
     Not only is the best source for daily news, he said, but this is also the best platform for advertising because of the traffic to the site.
     “Private and public interests recognize advertising in is the best return on investment for money spent on advertising. This is nice for me to see as well,” Hardison said. “I anticipate making offers to companies and individuals to help their businesses enjoy the benefits of advertising in my daily news website this month (November).”
     The numbers for October 2018 are shown in the graphic below, as they are in the same graphic on top:


Statistics Show is very strong

     Hardison, a multiple award-winning daily and weekly newspaper writer and editor, and now publisher and daily news website sole proprietor, said he is pleased to see the tally of individuals who visit the site.
     The national advertisements will remain on the bottom of the pages, he said, because local advertisers are better served by being on the right side of the pages and in the body of the pages. The ads for five local Chambers of Commerce currently are at the bottom of the Community Page.
     Following are the figures from two independent robotic programs for October of 2018.

     The first gauge reflects Unique Visitors. defines unique visitor as "a person who visits a Web site 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.

October 2018 – 12,135
Monthly Average 2018 - 14,822

     The number of visits is as it says. This is the number of times that these visitors came to pages.

October 2018 – 29,490
Monthly Average 2018 - 31,671

     Pages Viewed shows how many 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.

October 2018 – 113,270
Monthly Average 2018 -110,809

     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 may equal four “hits.” Like all of the gauges, this is a measure of traffic.
October 2018 – 1,490,866 (almost 1.5 million hits)
Monthly Average 2018 - 1,333,186 (about 1.3 million hits)

     “These figures mean there are more people each day who use as a source for information than any other source in North Central Florida,” Hardison said. “And they return daily. If your product or service is better than the competitors’ products and services, then you will have better odds of being the manufacturer, farmer or other product or service provider of first choice in any market.” continues to grow in readers, viewers and listeners (yes, most of the videos have sound). More and more business owners and other individuals are seeing that this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news.
     And people see it is the best daily news website for accurate reporting.
     As for the business side of the daily news website, the owner said this website is the best medium in this market to advertise, which is proved by annual increased revenue -- even though the price of ads remains stable since the site’s inception. 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 and more. provides state news on the BUSINESS PAGE and other pages on occasion when it is merited.

     "I can't say enough about my wife Sharon Hardison," Jeff Hardison said. "She does so much for me it is incredible. One thing I need to bring people's attention to is our relatively new archive page. Go to any of the seven pages and find the ad for the archive page 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. The newest addition is a direct link to all of the videos that have been published. Just go to the area on the page that says CHECK
     Videos can be viewed and click on it. If you see any video you want to watch, click on it.
ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING is visible for free to anyone who can see pages on the Internet. Therefore, people all over the world – and in the space station – can view it. This site is subscription-free entirely because of our sponsors. Not only do advertisers help the people in the world (and astronauts) see Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, but those business interests enjoy the most exposure for the least dollars.
     "We don't put up winky-blinky ads or pop-ups in our local ads," Hardison said. "Our local ads don't move around by the minute. And I promote our local advertisers in other places in addition to" is the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     Advertisements run in various sizes and can be on one page or all seven pages. Ad contracts run for one year. Ads can be changed monthly. Ads can be hyperlinked to other webpages so that when a person clicks on the ad it opens in another window.
     The annual prices for ads are $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 and there is one $2,000-a-year ad space available currently on the Home Page.
     Call 352-493-9950 or send an email to to learn more about advertising on the MOST VIEWED daily news website in the world for any form of print, broadcast or Internet-based media covering the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties (and beyond).


Scarecrow Contest Winner Announced
Scarecrow Winner
The Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 Scarecrow Contest winner is D.A.B. Constructors Inc. D.A.B. completed it scarecrow by Oct. 25, and judging was on the morning of Oct. 26. The First Place Winner will receive An Annually Rotating Plaque, complements of the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce. To determine the winner, judges used the following criteria: Originality and/or Creativity; Workmanship and/or Attention to Detail; and Presentation and/or Crowd Appeal from the Street.
Published Oct. 31, 2018 at 3:28 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided by Dick and Janet Street

Edward Jones
Consolidating accounts can lead
to clear financial strategy

Published Oct. 30, 2018 at 2:18 p.m.
     None of us can completely control all the things that happen to us.
     Yet, when it comes to achieving your long-term financial goals, including a comfortable retirement, you do have a great deal of power – as long as you follow a clear, well-defined financial strategy. And one way to help build and maintain such a strategy is by consolidating your financial accounts.
     Over the course of their lives, many people pick up a variety of financial accounts from multiple sources. They might have a few IRAs from different providers, a couple of old 401(k) plans from past employers, an insurance policy (or two) purchased many years ago, and a scattershot of stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and other investments.
     If this picture describes your situation, you may want to think about consolidating. For one thing, having a variety of accounts can run up a lot of fees.      Furthermore, you’ll have lots of paperwork to keep track of all your accounts, including several different tax statements. Plus, just by having so many accounts, you risk forgetting about some of them – and if you don’t think you’d ever forget about your own money, consider this: Well over $40 billion in unclaimed cash and property, including 401(k)s, pensions and IRAs, is awaiting return to the rightful owners, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
     But beyond reducing your possible fees, paperwork and potential for lost assets, consolidating your accounts with one provider can give you a centralized, unifying investment strategy, one that can help you in the following ways:
     • Diversification – If you own several different financial accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s and online accounts, you might have many similar investments within them. You might even own a cash-value insurance policy containing investments that closely track the ones you have in the other accounts. This type of duplication can be harmful, because if a market downturn primarily affects one type of asset, and your portfolio is dominated by that asset or similar ones, you could take a big hit. But if you have all your investments in the same place, a financial professional can review your holdings and recommend appropriate ways to diversify your investment dollars. (Be aware, though, that while diversification can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.
     • Staying on track – With all your accounts in one place, you’ll find it easier to keep the big picture in mind and make the moves necessary to help you progress toward your financial goals. Two main actions include buying or selling investments and adjusting your portfolio to make it more aggressive or conservative, depending on your situation.
     • Avoiding mistakes – If you own several separate accounts, you could see a loss in one or more of them and overreact by selling investments that could still be valuable to you. But with a consolidated investment platform, you can see more clearly that the impact of a loss may be small, relative to the rest of your holdings.
     As we’ve seen, consolidating your investment accounts with a single provider can have several advantages. So think carefully about bringing everything together – you may find that there’s strength in unity.  
    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.


UF/IFAS economists:
Hurricane Michael caused
$158 million in Florida
agricultural production losses

Crops Destroyed In Florida
The entire cotton crop, like the field show above, from Florida was lost, with more than 145,000 impacted acres impacted in Florida. Peanuts, field corn, the oat crop, hay, specialty crops, livestock and timber crops were all significantly adversely affected.

Photo Provided

By Samantha K. Grenrock of UF
Published Oct. 28, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.
Hurricane Michael caused production losses totaling $158 million for Florida’s agricultural industries in the 2018-19 growing season, making Hurricane Michael the most serious natural disaster to impact agricultural and natural resources industries in the Florida Panhandle in decades, according to economists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
     The dollar estimate, along with more detailed information, has been forwarded to state and federal agencies to facilitate relief efforts, said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources.
     "No one understands the magnitude of this disaster more fully than our UF/IFAS Extension agents based in the Panhandle,” Payne said. “They rose to the occasion and connected with farmers, landowners and property managers to obtain raw data concerning the status of their crops before and after Hurricane Michael struck. We even used drones to obtain aerial images of crop fields. Then, the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program team extrapolated from the raw data to produce a comprehensive figure for the entire affected area. To ensure that their calculations were accurate, the team engaged in discussions with state agencies, commodity groups and other academic experts to obtain their input."
     The $158 million figure represents lost sales revenues that producers would have received during the 2018-19 growing season if the storm hadn't impacted them. Economists use the term "losses" to describe this outcome, said Christa Court, an assistant scientist with the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department and EIAP assistant director.
     "Our analysis did not address clean-up costs, repair and replacement costs for damaged property, medical and veterinary expenses, or any long-term economic effects of the hurricane," Court said. "We needed to focus initially on developing the loss estimates needed for relief efforts, but we intend to continue to develop estimates for the broader economic impacts of the hurricane. County-level estimates will be released in the very near future."
     Nearly 1 million acres of agricultural crops, not including timber, were impacted throughout the Panhandle, Court said.
     The economic analysis team calculated crop loss estimates for 25 Florida counties, for commodities that included field crops, row crops, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, greenhouse and nursery crops, as well as beef, dairy, poultry and other animal products, she said. The most serious impacts occurred in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties, which experienced hurricane-force winds of 111 to 155 miles per hour, corresponding to the Category 3 and 4 hurricane ranges.
     Virtually all of the state’s cotton crop was wiped out, with losses totaling $51 million on more than 145,000 impacted acres. When the hurricane made landfall in Bay County on Oct. 10, annual harvesting efforts had just begun, and more than 90 percent of the crop remained in the field.
     More than 245,000 acres of peanut were impacted, resulting in losses of $22 million.
     Field corn, which saw a 100 percent loss on many farms where harvesting was not already completed, had more than 66,000 acres impacted and losses totaling $5 million.
     The oat crop in the region had losses totaling $600,000, with more than 30,000 acres impacted.
     Hay had the greatest acreage impacted – a total of 247,000 acres, with losses of $2 million.
     Specialty crops in the Panhandle also suffered significant losses, including $39 million for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, $9 million for vegetables and melons, $4 million for fruits and $3 million for tree nuts including pecans.
     Field reports indicate that a significant number of livestock animals went missing after the hurricane, including beef cattle, deer, horses and hogs. Most of the animals disappeared from sites with damaged fencing or enclosures. Total production losses for the expected three to six weeks of disruption to animal agriculture operations in the region were estimated at $23 million.
     In addition, the Florida Forest Service, a division of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, estimated Florida’s timber losses at $1.29 billion for pine, mixed upland hardwood and bottomland hardwood timber across a total of 2.81 million acres, in a report released Oct. 19. These figures represent timber that would normally be harvested over several years, Court said, and should not be viewed as a one-year loss figure.
     Therefore, total timber losses caused by Hurricane Michael cannot be directly compared with agricultural crop losses involving plants that are grown and harvested in a single year, such as cotton.
     The UF/IFAS economists concluded that Hurricane Michael was the most serious natural disaster to impact agricultural and natural resources industries in the Florida Panhandle in decades.


Customer Appreciation Day
Customer Service Day at Drummond Bank
The Drummond Community Bank branch in Chiefland was among the many places where it was Customer Appreciation Day on Friday (Oct. 26). There was plenty of free candy and cookies in the lobby for customers.

Customer Service Day  Drummond Bank
Many bank patrons enjoyed the opportunity to cast votes on which employee had the best costume. Among the employees competing in the Costume Contest at this branch of the bank are (from left) Cheyenne Carlisle as a huntress; Madison Cromwell as a very stylish witch, hat and all; Shelby Sauls as a 1950s housewife; Amber Godshall as a pirate; and Kirby Levy as a scarecrow.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 26, 2018 at 4:18 p.m.


UF sends representative
to The Ink Pad;

Levy County people
help publisher accommodate meeting

The Ink Pad UF College of Journalism
Associate Director of Development and Alumni Affairs of the UF College of Journalism and Communications Angie De Leon makes a Gator Chomp gesture next to The Ink Pad sign. This sign was designed by Sharon Hardison, and built and installed by B4 Signs and Advertising. It is on the campus of The Ink Pad. Sunlight streaming through the trees makes some of the blue sky, clouds and smiling sunshine of the sign disappear in the photo. De Leon was visiting the business on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 19). The Ink Pad is located in the unrecorded subdivision in the unincorporated part of Levy County between Carter’s Crossroads and Fowler’s Bluff. The Ink Pad includes the Code Orange Office, where news is sent to readers, viewers and listeners worldwide., a daily news website that covers primarily Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties currently (although it knows no geographical bounds), continues thriving in its eighth year of existence.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison

By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 19, 2018 at 10:08 a.m.
A serendipitous set of events unfolded Thursday (Oct. 18) as a representative of the University of Florida visited The Ink Pad.

The Ink Pad UF College of Journalism
Associate Director of Development and Alumni Affairs of the UF College of Journalism and Communications Angie De Leon (left) and Jeff M. Hardison, multiple daily and weekly newspaper award-winning journalist, and founder and owner of, confer in one of the meeting rooms available for banquets, meetings, conferences and the like at The Gathering Table Restaurant in Chiefland. Paige Brookins, restaurant owner, granted a last-minute request by Hardison to use the facility, while Rance Damron of R&R Refrigeration made the Code Orange Office and other indoor areas of The Ink Pad air-conditioned again – due to an unanticipated A/C failure on Wednesday night.
Photo by Zoe Llovet of The Gathering Table

     Sorangi "Angie" De Leon, associate director of development and alumni affairs of the UF College of Journalism and Communications met with owner Jeff Hardison.
     The meeting almost had to be cancelled due to an electrical-mechanical failure of an air-conditioning system at The Ink Pad.
     “I had a great meeting with Associate Director De Leon,” Hardison said, “and it was in no small part thanks to help from Paige Brookins and Rance Damron.”
     Hardison explained that The Ink Pad office air-conditioner had blown an internal transformer on Wednesday night. That issue appears to have come to be as the result of wiring problems in an area that is difficult to reach to repair.
     “At the last minute, I called Ms. Brookins to ask if I could use a meeting room at The Gathering Table. There was one open and she let me use it, gratis. Associate Director De Leon and I met there for an hour or so.
     “Then I showed Ms. De Leon The Ink Pad, which young Mr. Damron (of R&R Refrigeration) had made habitable by a temporary repair. That repair kept the building air-conditioned and will serve until he can make a more permanent fix to some damaged wires that run under the structure to connect the thermostat with the A/C unit outdoors.”
     Hardison said he is grateful for workers like Damron and others who go into unfriendly environments, such as under structures or in hot attacks, when duty calls.
     During the meeting with De Leon, Hardison learned about offering UF Journalism students the opportunity to write stories, take photos and videos for publication, and to sell ads for as interns or even as independent contractors.
     De Leon also gave him the newest developments at the Gainesville campus, especially at Rae O. Weimer Hall – home of the College of Journalism and Communications. The college continues to be a leader by providing the highest standards of education for potential members of The Fourth Estate.
     “It’s such an exciting time for us (at the UF College of Journalism) as we are celebrating 50 years as a college,” De Leon said.
     She spoke about the UF College of Journalism and Communication continuing its legacy of earning national awards through its efforts.
     She presented Hardison with a hefty notebook full of information and donor opportunities. She also gave him two silver-colored Gator lapel pins, and a credit card holder.
     Hardison mentioned that at some point early in the past eight years of, former Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at the UF College of Journalism and Communications Lindsey Stevens had presented him with a gold-colored Gator lapel pin and bought him lunch at the Red Lobster in Gainesville.
     DeLeon said she knows Stevens and had gold pins if the UF CJC alumnus wanted, however Hardison wrangled two silver pins from the visitor.
     “One had dropped to the floor,” Hardison said. “I asked Ms. De Leon if I could have that one too, and she agreed.”
     Stevens served in her post at the UF office from 2011 until January of 2018, when she became the Director of Development and Alumni Affairs for the University of South Florida (USF) Sarasota-Manatee.
     “I went to USF in Fort Myers and Sarasota,” Hardison said, “at some point in the 21st century, long after I had graduated from UF (with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism in 1984) so that I could become certifiable to teach English to students in grades six through 12 in Florida. That was just before Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers) became the 10th state university.
     “I love all of the public and private colleges in Florida, although some more than others,” Hardison concluded. “The college that has directly helped the very most so far is the College of Central Florida, which has campuses in Levy County, Marion County and Citrus County. CF has a marketing department that is smart enough to see its economic and social return on investment from advertising dollars spent in that bring positive results, not only from an economic standard, but from the perspective of supporting an independent, free press.”
     The publisher said he enjoyed the visit from a representative of one of the many institutions of educations where he has sojourned since first starting his education in kindergarten at Grace Lutheran Church in 1960, and continuing first through sixth grades at Harris Elementary School in St. Petersburg, and then continuing to Meadowlawn Jr. High School, Northeast High School (Vikings Class of 1974), Modern Media Institute, St. Petersburg Jr. College, UF (BSJ '84), Manatee Community College, and USF Fort Myers-Sarasota.
     “I hope other Gator alumni can donate to the UF College of Journalism and Communication too,” Hardison said. “It is vital for a free society to have a free press. One of the first things tyrants do is to attack the mass media that has, does and will expose their lies, corruption and various other evil, hateful, divisive, power-mad deeds.
     “Journalists are embraced by statesmen and ambassadors, because just as the reporters show the results from the forces of evil, they share with the masses the happiness seen from success that results from civilized, positive building of humanity,” Hardison said. “Reporters and photographers cover the warm and fuzzy, fluffy-bunny stories as well as the thorny backstabber scoops.”

TDC Saves $5,000 By Inhouse Work
Levy County TDC
Levy County Tourist Development Council Executive Director Tisha Whitehurst tells the County Commission on Tuesday (Oct. 16) that she is seeking only $20,000 this year rather than the $25,000 she requested the previous budget year. The members of the Tourist Development Council reduced the requested funds, she said, because through her work and the work of Administrative Assistant Catrina Sistrunk, they can complete some of what is needed for digital marketing inhouse. The TDC members unanimously approved the budget for the digital marketing plan, Whitehurst said. On a motion by County Commissioner Mike Joyner, seconded by County Commissioner Rock Meeks, the complete plan for digital marketing for the TDC was approved by the County Commission 5-0. This includes all social media, newsletters, etc., and reaches out worldwide through the Internet to attract people to events in Levy County.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 17, 2018 at 5:28 p.m.


Business sees
Levy County welcomes it

Nature Coast Business Devlopment COuncil
Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 17, 2018 at 3:28 p.m.
     BRONSON –
During the regular meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners Oct. 16, the five elected leaders heard from Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik as he presented a report on progress in business from August through December.
     Pieklik told them that in the seven years he has served the county he is seeing historic levels of business interest and incentives applications, with roughly five pending their review.
     Some projects are closer to being a relative certainty in contrast with some others.
     “We went for two years and saw one,” Pieklik said. “Now, we see five.”
     This is the first time he has seen two projects go to the state’s qualified target industry status for Levy County in one month, and this is a positive indicator for the businesses and for the county, he said.
     He let the County Commission know that he intends to remain open and honest with them. If he sees the county as giving an incentive to a project that shows little hope of success, then he will let them know that.
     Incentives to attract business can generate community opposition, and the County Commission could look at a potential financial commitment of several hundred thousand dollars.
     These are great jobs, he told the County Commission, but the question will come up as to how much the county is able and willing to contribute to attract that company to Levy County.
      “While we all want good quality, high wage jobs,” Pieklik told after the meeting, “we also can’t overstretch ourselves. So, we will move forward carefully considering these projects and the (probable) return on investment.
     “These companies should feel welcome and proud to call us home,” he added, “but at the end of the day, the community needs to get what it needs most.”
     Pieklik has been directly responsible for bringing new business to Levy County as well as helping existing business expand.
     He told the County Commission that part of his success is the welcome mat the county has put out for new business.
     “Everybody that I have talked to who is outside of the area,” Pieklik told the County Commission, “that was considering Marion County, or other counties in the region has said ‘We don’t get the same feeling (there) that we get here (in Levy County).’
     “Not that we are going to get every single one of those projects,” he continued, “but that is huge for you all; and it is a testament to the community.”

MONDAY  NOV. 12  12:18 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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