County Commission hears
thanks and complaints
Mini storage and toll roads ridiculed
Road review updated

Levy County Commission
Seen at the start of the meeting are (from left) Levy County Commission Vice Chairman John Meeks, Levy County Commissioner Tim Hodge, and Levy County Commission Chairman Rock Meeks.

Levy County Commission
Seen at the start of the meeting are Levy County Commissioner Desiree Mills and Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks.

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 23, 2022 at 3:12
     BRONSON –
People expressed their gratitude, and they complained Tuesday (Nov. 22) to the five-member Levy County Commission about a mini-storages facility in the Goethe State Park area, and there were people again expressing their hope to stop a potential future proposed toll road from destroying farms and forests in Levy County.


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Levy County Commission
Levy County Attorney Nicolle M. Shalley shows people need to hold up their right hands as they declare an oath. This oath was taken by individuals if they intended to speak during one of the quasi-judicial public hearings on Tuesday (Nov. 22). They are promising, by swearing or affirming, to tell the truth. There was no need during the Public Comments part of the agenda for any speaker to promise to tell the truth.

Levy County Commission
Renate Cannon speaks to the County Commission and receives an answer to her question.

     Also speaking as noted on the published agenda for Nov. 22 was Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Roadway Design Project Engineer Ryan Asmus.
     The five members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners are Seen at the start of the meeting are Levy County Commission Chairman Rock Meeks, Levy County Commission Vice Chairman John Meeks, Levy County Commissioner Tim Hodge, Levy County Commissioner Desiree Mills and Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks.

Storage Ugliness
     Maria Wise, a resident of Levy County near the Goethe State Park, reminded the County Commission about “good neighbor” promises and assurances that had been made by the developer of Black Prong RV & Self Storage, located on the corner of Levy County Road 337 and CR 326.
     Wise said she has called the county government and was told there is nothing that can be done about the alleged light pollution or the reported failure of a developer to put in a landscape buffer as reportedly promised.
     Wise said it is her opinion that there should be a method for the local government to force a developer to keep promises made to the County Commission and to the people of the community.
     “And so, I ask for your assistance in that issue – less than three minutes,” Wise concluded.
     The three-minute reference is in regard to the Levy County Commissioner three-minute limit on people speaking during the agenda item marked “Public Comments.”
     Another speaker Tuesday objected to the mini storage facility.
     She said it creates significant light pollution with its eight powerful floodlights that are on poles so high that they can be seen from far away. She commented that a convenience store in the area has external lighting to keep its customers safe, but those lights are not beyond what she sees as being reasonable and prudent.
     A promise of landscaping around the mini-storage facility is nothing more than dead vegetation, she said.

No Tolls Through Levy County
     Robbie Blake of Levy County thanked the County Commission for its previous stance of “No Build” regarding a possible toll road being constructed through Levy County as the FDOT strives to improve north-south traffic movement, especially if that construction were to run up Levy County Road 337 through Goethe State Forest.
     Blake intimated that she appreciates it when the County Commission shows it practices growth management practices to preserve the rural quality of life in Levy County. She read an FDOT statement published that indicated the state might be leaning more toward the I-75 corridor expansion as a method to fix the dilemma of north-south traffic jams in North Florida.
     “That’s very encouraging for all of us who want to protect the farms, the timberland, all of the things – especially (the rural environment),” Blake said. “Fifteen sections, (where) one section is one-mile by one-mile, were just purchased on State Road 24 and all the way up to Blue Springs. We want to keep our eyes on what they’re doing (the governor, Florida Legislature and FDOT), because we don’t even have a hospital here.”
     She went on to mention there are infrastructure needs in the county and that the Levy County Sheriff’s Office is doing what it can to curb the tide of crimes that is fueled by the illegal drug trade.
     She referred to a current subdivision proposed in Levy County that will increase the population on 412 acres by people in 37 proposed single-family homes that will all be adding water wells and septic tanks.
     “We thank you for your efforts to guide our growth,” Blake said.
     Almost ironically, within the same meeting, the County Commission approved the preliminary plat for that proposed subdivision. Shady Hammock Estates is being subdivided into 10-acre parcels, which makes it more than nine-acre parcels, and therefore only requires the developer to build lime rock roads rather than paved roads.
     Laura Catlow of Bronson spoke about the toll road issue, too.
     She told County Commissioner members that after a brief pause there appears to be a revitalization of FDOT’s push for a toll road through Levy County.
     There is allegedly an FDOT meeting in early December that will be able to be attended virtually in regard to an update on the plan to build an extension of a toll road from Citrus County north to the Georgia-Florida state line to alleviate traffic stress and improve northbound hurricane evacuation routes.
     Catlow said people will be given a chance to provide the FDOT with input about a toll road being built through Levy County. The people have spoken against this proposal already. In fact, the Levy County Commission even sent a letter urging the Florida Legislature to go with a “No Build” option to that possible toll road.
     Catlow asked the Levy County Commission to continue its support for the “No Build Resolution” with the Town of Bronson, the City of Williston, the City of Yankeetown, the City of Cedar Key, and the people in Levy County who live in the unincorporated areas outside of the eight municipalities in Levy County.

Free Flow Traffic On U.S. Highway 19
     FDOT Roadway Design Project Engineer Ryan Asmus gave the County Commission a report about one plan for U.S. Highway 19 going north from Red Level in Citrus County to the intersection of U.S. 19 with Levy County Road 347.
     He opened his presentation with an expression of thanks for being able to speak with the County Commission.
     “FDOT is committed to partnering with the community as we move forward with the PD and E study,” he said.
     The FDOT’s Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) Submission for November will be like those established by the FDOT in the past.
     Here is the FDOT process. First there is planning, which looks at existing conditions and leads to a needs assessment. Then there is the PD&E, which includes a review of the purpose and need for the project. Then, the project is designed with details that include construction plans, cost estimates, permits and an environmental reevaluation. Then there is the right-of-way acquisition, which includes appraisals, negotiations, purchases and possible relocation. Finally, there is construction of the project.
     Right now, in its going forward with a concept to improve the free flow of traffic along U.S. Highway 19 from Citrus County at least across the Suwannee River, it is in the PD&E phase for the part of the road between Red Level and Levy County Road 347.
     Red Level is an unincorporated community in Citrus County, which gained this name from being close to the former nuclear electric power generation plant that has since been shut down.
     The next step of the FDOT’s PD&E for free-flowing U.S. 19 traffic will be for the FDOT to communicate with its Environmental Technical Advisory Team (ETAT).
     The ETAT includes representatives from 23 different agency partners -- such as the United States Coast Guard, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and others.
     Those partner agencies will share comments with FDOT for early input while still in the planning phase, Asmus said.
     The FDOT will send the partners the study corridor, which in this case is from Red Level to CR 347 along U.S. 19, Asmus said. The purpose of the project will be noted, and the partners will have an opportunity to reply with their issues and concerns related to the study corridor.
     For example, Asmus said, certain agencies will be able to advise about habitats and species of concern in the project study area.
     The ETAT looks at the specific corridor of U.S. 19, and they look on either side of the road for a buffer that can range between 50 and 2,000 feet, Asmus said. While these agencies review such a broad swath, Asmus noted, it is not indicative of the FDOT widening the road, but instead it is a process for ETAT members to tell FDOT about natural, physical, cultural and community resources that are within the study area.
     There are 24 areas of study reviewed by ETAT – not just environmental. These areas are grouped under cultural, economic, natural, physical and special categories, he said.
     This detailed review of the project area helps FDOT make informed decisions as potential projects, such as making U.S. 19 more of a free-flow thoroughfare, he said.
     Information about the process is available for public view at https://etdmpub.fla-etat.org/est/. This site makes information available about proposed transportation projects, agency comments on a variety of environmental and sociocultural topics associated with those projects, and various documents describing the ETDM process. 

Two commissioners take oath of office
Jail construction continues

Departing Commisssioner
Celebrating the Honorable Gilchrist County Commissioner Marion Poitevint’s conclusion of eight years of service in Gilchrist County as a county commissioner in a group photo after the presentation of her plaque are (from left) County Commissioner Kenrick Thomas, County Commission Chairman Bill Martin, County Commissioner Poitevint, County Commissioner Sharon Akins Langford and County Commission Vice Chairman Darrell Smith.

Story, Photos And Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 19, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
All Rights Reserved By Federal Civil Law
     TRENTON –
After the recognition of an outgoing Gilchrist County Commission member, two members of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners on Thursday evening (Nov. 17) took the oath of office.

     The Honorable Gilchrist County Commissioner Marion Poitevint completed her last night of service for residents and visitors of Gilchrist County on Nov. 17, seconding many of the motions to get action done.
     Before being presented with an acrylic plaque, Gilchrist County Commission Chairman Bill Martin mentioned that County Commissioner Kenrick Thomas had presented Poitevint with figs as a parting gift.
     Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby served as the master of ceremonies for the recognition of the county commissioner who chose against seeking reelection.
     Poitevint first took office in 2014 and served eight consecutive years as the commissioner for District 4, Crosby said.
     “She has been a joy to work with,” Crosby said, “a pleasure to work with.”
     Crosby went on to say this commissioner was very attentive to what was happening in her district. 
     “We will miss you,” Crosby told the woman leaving office, adding that he is happy she will no longer need to worry about the duties of a county commissioner.
     He thanked her for her service, adding that he is certain that everyone would join him in the hope that God blesses her for the rest of her life.
     Chairman Martin added an interesting tidbit.
     He served on the Gilchrist County Election Canvassing Board. Performing those duties, he saw that several Gilchrist County voters had written in her name to remain in office as the county commissioner in District 4.

Oath Of Office
Moments before being asked to raise their hands by Gilchrist County Attorney David M. ‘Duke’ Lang Jr. (left), County Commissioner Bill Martin (center) and Commissioner-Elect Tommy Langford are seen in the meeting room.

Oath of Office
Now with their right hands raised, the men take the oath of office.

Oath Of Office
To see and hear County Attorney David M. ‘Duke’ Lang Jr. (left), County Commissioner administer the oath of office to reelected County Commissioner Bill Martin (center) and Commissioner-Elect Tommy Langford are seen in the meeting room, click on the PHOTO ABOVE.

     After the brief ceremony, another brief ceremony ensued. County Commissioner Martin (Dist. 2), who was reelected without opposition and Commissioner Tommy Langford (Dist. 4), who won the election to the seat vacated by Commissioner Poitevint, accepted the oath of office, administered by Gilchrist County Attorney David M. “Duke” Lang Jr.

Jail Construction
Sheriff Bobby Schultz
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz is seen on the front row of pews during the meeting on Nov. 17. He let the County Commission know that construction of the new jail has begun, including the knocking down of a wall that very day. He jokingly said a line was painted on the ground where the wall used to stand so that inmates know not to cross itTo read the best previous story about the start of jail construction, click HERE.

Other Actions
     Among the many other actions and informational moments of the meeting, the County Commission took many actions.
     A special use permit request to build a structure to create a food bank ministry was denied unanimously by the County Commission.
     County Attorney Lang explained the purpose was not for a religious facility that would be a stand-alone primary and principal use on the property, and therefore did not qualify for that special consideration granted such interests. He also explained why other exemptions did not apply to this request.
     The proposed structure is on six acres of land adjacent to the Hickory Bluffs Subdivision, which some residents from that subdivision reminded the County Commission is only for residential use.
     This proposed use was not compatible and harmonious with the adjacent and nearby properties, Lang said, which is contrary to the regulations for developments in Gilchrist County.
     The conversation lasted much longer than the 15 minutes allocated to hear the matter. In the end, the County Commission rejected the request because it was for something that is not meant to be built in that part of the county.
     On another building and zoning matter, the County Commission by a 5-0 vote approve the site plan for a 50-foot by 125-foot building by Randy Lewis in the Tyler Creek Business Community, which is near to State Road 47. This building is only for use as a storage unit and office.
     The County Commission completed several other actions that night in its regular twice-monthly meeting.


Wreaths set for Levy County placement
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 17, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
This will be the second year for Wreaths Across America at Cedar Key Cemetery, Parks Wilson location coordinator, noted in a recent email.
     National Wreaths Across America Day this year is set for Dec. 17. Ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. at cemeteries across the nation.
     People participating in the program are going to be at Shiloh Cemetery on Dec. 17, which heralds its first year of Wreaths Across America, Wilson added
     “An important part of Wreaths Across America is to teach the value of freedom,” Wilson said. “We encourage families to participate on National Wreath Day to have children place wreaths.”
     He would like parents to help children learn about the veterans’ service to their country and life.
     Shiloh cemetery is located off State Road 24 about 6 miles east of Cedar Key. It’s at the end of Shiloh Road near the RV parks, Wilson noted. 
     The Rosemary Hill Cemetery in Bronson was the first Wreaths Across America cemetery in Levy County, and it is anticipated to be active on Dec. 17 again this year.
     Levy County Commissioner John Meeks and AmVets Post 88, Sons of AmVets 88, and AmVets Post 88 Riders are the people who brought the Wreaths Across America program to Levy County.
To see the 2018 story about how Wreaths Across America is continuing in Levy County, click HERE.
To see the 2015 story about Wreaths Across America published in HardisonInk.com, click HERE.


Cross City hosts 22nd Annual
Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony

Cross City Veterans Day 2022

Story Provided By Kenneth “Tank” Lee
Photos Provided By Angel Lee

Published Nov. 14, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
     CROSS CITY --
The Town of Cross City hosted the 22nd Annual Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony on Veterans Day (Friday, Nov. 11).

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
American Legion Riders Chapter 383 of Old Town ride in the parade.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Harvey Hampton and Gerry Kaufman greet one another.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Cross City Mayor Tank Lee, host of the ceremony, welcomes everyone to the event to honor and celebrate veterans.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Cross City Church of God Pastor Joe Brooks giving opening prayer

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Ma'Shayla Rollison performs The Star-Spangled Banner.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Harry Hopwood and Kenny Spillers raise the flag.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
DCHS Redcoat Regiment Band perform a military medley after performing in the parade while marching.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Cross City Councilman Ryan Fulford giving remarks on behalf of Cross City.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Dixie County Commission Chairman Jamie Storey gives remarks on behalf of Dixie County.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
DCHS student Abby Whitehead gives her speech titled What is a Veteran?

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Guest speaker former Army Sgt. Michael Smith gives the keynote speech.

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
American Legion Post 383 performing 21 gun salute

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
Ray Dalphond of Post 383 performing Taps

Cross City Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony
The 2022 Annual Veterans Group Photo is completed.

     Even though it had to be delayed three hours due to inclement weather, the parade was well attended.
     The many units in the parade included motorcycles, veterans, firetrucks, elected officials, the Dixie County High School Redcoat Regiment Marching Band, the Anderson Elementary Junior Betas and various businesses and organizations.
     Once the parade made its way through town, a ceremony commenced at Wheeler Park.
     There was a good crowd on hand despite the delay and the weather.
     After a welcome by Cross City Mayor Kenneth "Tank" Lee (the event’s host), Cross City Church of God Pastor Joe Brooks gave an opening prayer.
     The National Anthem was sung by MaShayla Rollison.
     After an introduction of elected officials and veterans’ organizations in attendance, the DCHS Redcoat Regiment Marching Band performed a military medley.
     Next up, was DCHS student Abby Whitehead, who spoke about the importance of veterans.
     The guest speaker was former United States Army Sgt. Michael Smith, who is a third generation veteran. The event was closed out by a somber 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps by American Legion Post 383 of Old Town.
Publisher's Note: Thanks to Mayor Tank Lee and Angel Lee for providing the story and photos.


FDOH addresses
respiratory syncytial virus in Florida 

Information Provided 
By Wesley Asbell of the Florida Department of Health
Tri-County Area Unit
Published Nov. 9, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
     BRONSON –
The Florida Department of Health in Levy County is monitoring an above average number of cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Florida communities, and residents in Dixie County and Gilchrist County may take note as well.

     This common respiratory virus may cause a higher number of pediatric emergency department visits compared to previous years. 
     RSV is an infection of the lungs and respiratory tract with symptoms similar to a common cold. Mild case symptoms can include congested or runny nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, sore throat, sneezing, and headache. In severe cases, RSV symptoms may include fever, cough, wheezing, rapid or difficulty breathing, or bluish skin color.
     Follow these important steps to protect yourself and others from respiratory illness:
     1. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
     2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
     3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
     4. Stay home if you are sick and keep children home if they are sick.
     Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
     Infants are the most affected by RSV. Symptoms of severe cases in infants are short, shallow, and rapid breathing, struggling to breathe, cough, poor feeding, unusual tiredness, or irritability. 
     Most children and adults recover in one to two weeks, although some might have repeated wheezing. Severe or life-threatening infection requiring a hospital stay may occur in premature infants or in anyone who has chronic heart or lung problems.
For more information, please visit the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.


Operation Green Light
gets the go-ahead in Levy County

Veterans Honored
Levy County Veterans Service Director Olajuwon White reads the proclamation.

Story and Photos 
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 8, 2022 at 9:12 p.m.
     BRONSON –
By a 4-0 vote of approval by the Levy County Commission, with Commissioner Rock Meeks being absent, Levy County joined other areas to declare Nov. 7 through Nov. 11 as “Operation Green Light for Veterans Week.”

Veterans Honored

Veterans Honored
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones has led the way in providing recognition for veterans in the Levy County Couse, including the two walls shown above, and display cases to honor local fallen veterans.

     Levy County Veterans Service Director Olajuwon White read the proclamation that was filled with information.
     The four commissioners who voted to adopt the proclamation were John Meeks, Matt Brooks, Desiree Mills and Lilly Rooks.
     The proclamation is noted below:
     Whereas, the residents of Levy County have great respect, admiration, and the utmost gratitude for all of the men and women who have selflessly served our country and this community in the Armed Forces; and 
     Whereas, the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces have been vital in maintaining the freedoms and way of life enjoyed by our citizens; and 
     Whereas, Levy County seeks to honor these individuals who have paid the high price for freedom by placing themselves in harm’s way for the good of all; and 
     Whereas, Veterans continue to serve our community in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, religious groups, civil service, and by functioning as County Veteran Service Officers in 29 states to help fellow former service members access more than $52 billion in federal health, disability and compensation benefits each year; and 
     Whereas, Approximately 200,000 service members transition to civilian communities annually and an estimated 20 percent increase of service members will transition to civilian life in the near future; and 
     Whereas, studies indicate that 44-72 percent of service members experience high levels of stress during transition from military to civilian life; and
     Whereas, Active Military Service Members transitioning from military service are at a high risk for suicide during their first year after military service; and 
     Whereas, Levy County appreciates the sacrifices of our United States Military Personnel and believes specific recognition should be granted. 
     Now, Therefore, Be It Proclaimed by the Board of County Commissioners of Levy County, Florida that the week of Nov. 7-11, 2022, shall be known in Levy County as “Operation Green Light for Veterans Week,” a time to salute and honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform transitioning from Active Service. 
     Be It Further Proclaimed that the Board of County Commissioners encourages its citizens in patriotic tradition to recognize the importance of honoring all those who made immeasurable sacrifices to preserve freedom by displaying a green light in a window of their place of business or residence.


Commission candidate campaigns
Daniel Wood III
Daniel Wood III is seen Thursday morning (Nov. 3) across the street from the Dixie County Courthouse as he holds up a sign showing he seeks election. The qualified voters of Dixie County who exercise their right to vote will choose either Jaffry Crawl, a Democrat, or Keith Tuten, a write-in candidate, or Wood, a Republican, as the person to take the place of outgoing Dixie County Commissioner W.C. Mills (Dist. 2).

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 4, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.
Daniel Wood III wants to be the man who takes the seat soon to be vacated by Dixie County Commissioner W.C. Mills (Dist. 2).

     Mills chose not to run for reelection.
     Wood is running against Jaffry Crawl, a Democrat, and Keith Tuten, a write-in candidate.
     On Thursday morning (Nov. 3) across the street from the Dixie County Courthouse, Wood was holding up a sign showing he seeks election. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
     The candidate answered a question from a roving reporter who happened to be going through the intersection of Northeast 210th Avenue and Highway 351    , where Wood was standing on the Northwest corner of that intersection across the street from the Dixie County Courthouse.
     Why should a voter choose Wood rather than either of the two other men seeking that leadership role in Dixie County government?
     “I am for good change in this county,” Wood said. “I am for pushing this county forward.”
     Wood said he believes proper growth can increase tax revenue to help fund the county government.
     He mentioned that he is a sixth generation Dixie Countian who loves Dixie County.


Election Day voting tips shared
Story Provided 
By Assistant Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jordan Lindsey
Published Oct. 29, 2022 at 10:12 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones offers Levy County voters some tips to prepare for Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.
     ● Confirm the location of your polling place prior to Election Day: It is listed on your sample ballot, voter information card, online at https://www.votelevy.gov, or call 352-486-5163.
     ● If you need to verify your registration status, check https://www.votelevy.gov/Voters/Voter-Lookup-Tool, email us at elections@votelevy.gov, or call 352-486-5163.
     ● If you need to update your address, contact us prior to Election Day so you can be directed to your proper polling location.
     ● Photo and signature identification is required for all voters. You may vote a provisional ballot if you cannot produce one of the 12 approved forms of identification.
     ● Be sure to review your sample ballot prior to Election Day in order to familiarize yourself with all of the contests.
     ● Remember to make only one selection per contest on your ballot.
     If you do not wish to wait in line to vote on Election Day, vote early at the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office, 421 S. Court St., in Bronson, through Sunday, Nov. 6.
     Early voting is offered daily (including Saturday and Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
     Levy County voters who requested a Vote by Mail ballot have until Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. to return the ballot to the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office, 421 S. Court St., in Bronson.
     Voters MAY NOT return a completed Vote by Mail ballot to their precinct on Election Day. Check the status of your Vote by Mail ballot at https://votelevy.ballottrax.net/voter/.
     For more information, please contact the Levy County Supervisor of Elections office at 352-486-5163.

Sheriff Bobby McCallum honored
Named as 2022 LCSF Alumnus of the Year
McCallum Honored
Seen moments before the surprise announcement of being the 2022 Levy County Schools Foundation Alumnus of the Year at the 22nd Annual STARS Gala, held in the cafetorium of Bronson Middle High School on Oct. 22, are Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, his wife Kandy McCallum and grandson Mighty Hinote.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 24, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.
All Intellectual Property and Copyrights Reserved
     BRONSON –
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum joined an elite list on Saturday night (Oct. 22) during the 22nd Annual STARS Gala when he was named as the 2022 Levy County Schools Foundation Alumnus of the Year.

McCallum Honored
(from left) Levy County Superintendent of Schools Chris Cowart stands behind Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum as Levy County Schools Foundation President Angie Phillips presents the sheriff with the 2022 Levy County Schools Foundation Alumnus of the Year award.

McCallum Honored
(from left) Levy County Superintendent of Schools Chris Cowart, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum and Levy County Schools Foundation President Angie Phillips pose for photos at the Levy County Schools Foundation’s 22nd Annual STARS Gala.

     The 74-year-old sheriff is a Chiefland High School graduate, who stands among a group of 13 previous honorees.
     Sheriff McCallum on Monday (Oct. 24) said he was very honored and surprised by the title bestowed upon him by the Levy County Schools Foundation on Sunday night at the annual banquet.
     “I’ve always wanted to give back to the county,” McCallum said, “and to help the schools, and the children.”
     The sheriff said he and his wife Kandy do what they can to help the children have a good education scholastic education and good instructions and coaching in athletics.
     All of the students, teachers, administrators and other school staff members, Sheriff McCallum added, are going through a different environment today than when he was in school in regard to crime, especially regarding violence.
     “They should get all the praise and recognition,” the sheriff said.
     Some of the top educators and staff members received recognition and gift bags at the STARS Gala.
     As for being the Levy County Schools Foundation (LSCF) Alumnus of the Year, LCSF Treasurer Denny George spoke about this award.
     He noted this annual title began in 2009. Each year a recipient is honored when the LCSF Board votes on the graduate who has earned this distinction, Treasurer George said.
     The LCSF Board bases its choice on a number of criteria, George said, and these include a measure of the success of the alumnus by the way they represent the Levy County high school from whence they graduated.
     Other aspects considered by the Board are their career and life after high school; and especially their contributions back to their home community and Levy County, George added.
     The LCSF Board of Directors is comprised this year of President Angie Phillips, Vice President Justin Head, Secretary Lewrissa Johns, Treasurer Denny George and directors Carol Jones-DuBois, Justin Hardy, Lance Hayes, Tammy Jones, Cookie King, Amanda Lane, Melissa Lewis, Andy Lott, Ben Lott, Heather Rawlins, Shannon Smith, Prentice Spann, Tanya Taylor and Superintendent of Schools Chris Cowart as ex-officio member.
     The previous recipients and the cities listed with them follow: 2009 Luther Beauchamp, Chiefland; 2010 Al Qualls, Bronson; 2011 Charles “Chip” Webb Jr., Williston; 2012 H.C. Henderson Jr., Chiefland; 2013 Bob Bishop, Cedar Key; 2014 Dogan Cobb, Bronson; 2015 Robert Philpot, Williston; 2016 Carol Jones-DuBois, Chiefland; 2017 Donald Richburg, Cedar Key; 2018 Zelda Lott, Bronson; 2019 Joseph E. Smith, Williston; 2020 Bill Schossler and Linda Schossler Durrance, Bronson; and 2021 Kelly Beckham, Cedar Key.
     As he made the announcement of the 2022 recipient, levy County Superintendent of Schools Cowart said this year’s winner was a member of Student Council when he was at Chiefland High School, as well as being vice president of the senior class.
     The 2022 LCSF Alumnus of the Year, Cowart continued, was a four-year letterman in football, as well as being co-captain of the team in his senior year. He was All Area Special Mention in football. He was a three-year letterman in basketball, as well as earning all-area honorable mention, and he was Mr. Basketball. Cowart said this honoree was a two-year letterman in track and baseball, too.
     “Sheriff Bobby McCallum began his career at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in 1969 as a dispatcher and jailer,” Cowart said. “Over the next 30 years, he served critical roles within the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.”
     In 2012, he was elected as the sheriff of Levy County.
     Cowart said McCallum does not take lightly his opportunity to serve the residents and visitors of Levy County. The sheriff is known for proactively addressing public safety concerns and maintaining a wonderful quality of life for the people, Cowart said as he noted this is a high priority for the sheriff.
     Sheriff McCallum is highly respected and a devout Christian, being a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland.
     He was reelected in 2016 and made history by being the first sheriff in Levy County to run unopposed.
     McCallum earned a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Nova University and is a graduate of the Florida Highway Patrol Academy, the National Institute for Undersheriffs at the University of Southern California, and the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville.
     McCallum has served in many volunteer leadership roles throughout the area and within the law enforcement community, Cowart said as he spoke to the audience.
     McCallum serves on the Board of Directors at the College of Central Florida Criminal Justice Advisory Board. He is a board member of Region VI Criminal Justice Standards and Training Trust Fund Board, Cowart said.
     “Near and dear to his heart is the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches,” Cowart said, “where he has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.”
      McCallum has served as the past treasurer, vice president and president of the Florida Sheriffs Association and is currently the immediate-past president, Cowart said.
     Upon accepting the award, the sheriff went to the podium.
     “Wow,” Sheriff McCallum said. “Just, wow!”
     The sheriff thanked the LCSF Board for naming him as alumnus of the year.
     McCallum joked about how the other sheriffs in Florida joke about him being on “the chain gang,” which is a title one earns by walking up and down the sideline during football games carrying the chain that marks the line of scrimmage and the 10-yard mark to earn a first down.
     “I have been on the chain gang for football (at Chiefland High School home games) for 44 years,” he said. “And they (other sheriffs) give me a hard time about embarrassing us other sheriffs, because you’re the only sheriff in the state who is on a chain gang.”
     The sheriff said that during his long career in law enforcement, he has had the opportunity to be a teacher at times, and was even the head varsity basketball coach at Chiefland High School for four years – many years ago. 
     “That was exciting,” he said.
     The sheriff has done some scouting for the Chiefland Indians Varsity Football Team, breaking down films of games. He served as an assistant coach for the CHS Track team for a couple of years, as well as being an assistant coach for the CHS Varsity Girls Softball Team. 
     The sheriff said he feels truly blessed to have been able to do all of that, along with his exceedingly lengthy career in law enforcement.
     As people who know the sheriff would have expected, he accepted this success with great humility, saying he does not know that he deserves it but that he accepts the title with gratitude.
     In closing, Sheriff McCallum told Superintendent of Schools Cowart that he feels very blessed to be his sheriff.


Annual Williston Peanut Festival
draws a crowd

Hit songs, a hoverboard, business galore
and more offers plenty for adventure

2022 Williston Peanut Festival

Danny Etheridge of the Williston Rotary Club is seen here. He was among the Rotarians helping to conduct the Annual Purple Pinkie Peanut Run. Please read about his review of the run as part of the whole story about the festival below.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 16, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
(Except One Picture)
“Saturday in the park, I think it was the 15th of October.”
     No one can remember the opening lyrics to this nonexistent song, but it does make for some folks to flashback to Fourth of July events in parks in years gone by, although peanut festivalgoers are more inclined to harken back to this event.
     Meanwhile, the 33rd Annual Central Florida Peanut Festival, also known as The Williston Peanut Festival, attracted people from near and far once again on Saturday (Oct. 15).

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
In this one photo, which is the only one not taken by Jeff M. Hardison, but instead is provided by Bronson High School Principal Jennifer, the principal is seen at the 10th Annual Purple Pinkie Peanut Run. (Thank you, Principal Bray, for helping the Rotarians and for sending this picture for publication when requested by the daily news website owner.)

     Delayed for two weeks from it was first planned to happen on the first Saturday of October, the festival was pushed back as the result of several participants being severely affected by the impact of Hurricane Ian on all of Florida a couple of weeks ago.
     Meanwhile, the Cedar Key Lions Club held its two-day festival on that very same Saturday and Sunday. The Cedar Key event, as fate would have it, was not put back by the hurricane’s impact. There was a point, however, when the hurricane was projected to hit Cedar Key, and it was among the coastal and low-lying areas placed under mandatory evacuation in Levy County weeks ago.
     Nevertheless, peanut lovers who also have a hankering for seafood, were able to visit both festivals – one on Saturday and one on Sunday, although it was only Saturday for those inclined for the nuts from the vines; whereas it was either day for those wonderful crab cakes and the like.
     Art has weaved into the Cedar Key festival, too.
     Like the peanut festival in Williston, a relatively new tradition there was delayed by two weeks as well.
     The 10th Annual Purple Pinkie Peanut Run, organized and hosted by the Rotary Club of Williston, was again part of the fun of the Central Florida Peanut Festival.
     This Rotarian fundraising event included a 5K Fun Run or a 1 Mile Walk – and it was open to people of all ages. 
     Danny Etheridge, a Williston Rotarian, provided HardisonInk.com with a review of the race, because that event happened too early for at least one journalist to cover.
     Etheridge said there were about 40 participants. Sponsorship again this year was great, he said, and although he did not specifically mention it, the odds are high that an enjoyable time was had by all.
     Proceeds from the run go toward the Rotary Club of Williston’s service projects, Levy County Youth programs and the Rotary International Purple Pinkie project, Williston Rotarian Deedee McLeod has said. McLeod is among the members of this relatively small but mighty group of Rotarians.
     What about the purple fingers? Racers did not have to have purple pinkies.
     People in counties where polio vaccinations are administered have their pinky fingers dyed purple to show they have been vaccinated against polio. This helps reduce the odds of accidently using more vaccine than needed. The purple pinky has come to be among the Rotarian symbols in its effort to eradicate polio from the planet, which is a Rotarian International project.
     Williston Rotary’s local youth projects include The RACK – Rotarians Actively Caring for Kids- that provides shoes, socks and shoelaces to those in need in Joyce Bullock, Williston Elementary and Bronson Elementary Schools throughout the school year, dictionaries for all 3rd grade students in Williston, Bronson and Yankeetown, the food Back Pack Program that sends home non-perishable food items with children in need and Rotary Scholarships to a graduating student from Williston and Bronson Middle High to name a few.  
     An additional project initiated by this event - One half of a student’s registration money for the 10th Annual PPPR will be donated to the Physical Education department of the student’s school. 
     To date, Rotary International and partners have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide through the mass immunization of children. For as little as $3 worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life. After an international investment from Rotary International, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st Century to be eradicated.
     The Rotary Club of Williston, District #6940, Club #73382, meets every Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. The meeting starts with socializing and includes lunch.

The Festival
    More than just many different peanuts, and peanut-based products, are found at the annual peanut festival.
    There were plenty of business interests and charitable organizations again this year. People were selling art, crafts, all sorts of peanut products, other delicious festival-types of foods and drinks, honey, homemade dresses, jewelry, and the whole spectrum of other products.
     Financial institutions, charitable organizations, school groups, civic groups and even political groups were present. The broad spectrum of possible goods and services available at the event were, once again, relatively extraordinary.
     People from across Florida and from all over the United States, and even from some countries other than the United States, went to Williston to enjoy the festival. One lady from Texas who is involved with the United States Navy was grateful to learn about a daily news website that is free and visible across the globe, so that she can see more about the very festival she attended on Saturday.
     There was a man who was promoting Chinese performing artists as well as information about that country before it became the largest communist political entity on Earth.
     The photos and captions below reflect some of the expansive number of opportunities for fun, kindness, fellowship and other aspects that happened in Heritage Park in Williston on Saturday.
     One tent that included people who were not selling goods or services but were there for hands-on immediate help was utilized for a baby diaper-changing area. That was hosted by the Levy County Prevention Coalition and Cornerstone Church of Williston.
     The range of different people was relatively wide, One man at the event said he prefers what Russian tyrant Vlad Putin espouses rather than what leaders in Washington, D.C., say in regard to governing the nation. He endorsed the idea of Florida seceding from the United States, as he sold certain flags at the festival.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Butch Batts and The SouthBound Band performed at the festival, with shows scheduled at 9:30 a.m., noon and just before 2 p.m. Joining the lead singer are lead guitarist Jeff Million, bass guitarist Duke Halonski and Chris Hollinshead on drums. The group plays a variety of songs. Two original pieces are seeing significant traffic on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and other venues. Those songs are Girl Like That and Don’t Tell Me Tonight.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Kris Renn, a server of icy deliciousness, is in the Kona Ice trailer ready to sell treats to festivalgoers.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones rides a hoverboard for the first time in her life at the peanut festival. Tracy Alderman of Chiefland let her ride on his board. A renowned journalist was offered a chance to try the device, but he declined noting that his bones seem to break more easily now than when he was younger.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Tracy Alderman (right) stands with his wife Martha. The couple from Chiefland have been married 40 years. Martha Alderman was selling dresses that she made. She brought 595 dress for sale to the festival, and within the first 15 minutes she had sold two. Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones bought one of those two dresses – with a Florida Gator theme – for her 2-year-old (almost 3) granddaughter.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Laura Schultz of Morriston is seen in the Dixie Fixin’ Dips food trailer that made its first appearance at the peanut festival. Last year, she was selling the dips in a less comfortable method.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
This is a closer view of Laura Schultz of Morriston in the Dixie Fixin’ Dips food trailer. She has been selling these dips for almost 20 years. While she was in Williston on Saturday, her husband was selling Dixie Fixin’ Dips in Cedar Key at the Seafood Festival.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Crystal Lara, an information specialist in the office of Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones, holds a sample ballot for the Nov. 8 General Election. The front side shows candidates and the back side shows three state constitutional amendments.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
This is a view of some of the early members of a giant crowd that walked on the sidewalk during the festival. Among the folks seen here are some from P&L Financial Services Inc. of Gainesville.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Some members of the Williston Elementary School’s fifth graders who are in the Safety Patrol are seen with their sponsor – Annalise Curry (who is standing behind them). The patrollers are (from left) Clara Dickens, Shiloh Barker, Jacob Whitehurst and Averie Hall. They were selling tickets for a person to win a cooler filled with mugs, hats, beach towels, a BBQ set and more, with an estimated value of $600. This is part of the fundraising efforts by this set of safety patrol members to help pay for them to go to Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2023.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival

A group effort results in providing at least 500 free, grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Above is Andy Robinson, a farmer and owner who grows crops on 2,400 acres just south of Williston at Robinson Farm. While normally a farmer, here he is serving as a volunteer PBJ Sandwich Griller.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Tyron Spearman, who is president at Spearman Marketing, which was founded in 1986 in Tifton, Georgia, knows the benefits of peanuts. Seen here, he is once again – representing. He sings a song for folks on occasion, as is shown in a 2021 clip filmed by HardisonInk.com.
The song goes like this:

Pachyderms and people are particularly partial to peanuts – peanuts!
Presidents, poets, the plain and the pretty pick peanuts – peanuts!
No matter the mood; for fun or for food, for snacks or even for lunch,
Portable, pleasing, popular, protein-packed – peanuts! 
America’s favorite munch! Go Williston

To see and hear Tyron Spearman sing his peanut song from the 2021 peanut festival in Williston, click HERE.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
John Gray, known about town for his leadership in running Williston Peanuts, again volunteers to be a PBJ Sandwich Griller, which in festival time is an extremely vital duty. These sandwiches are a big part of the draw to the fest.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Brooke Ellzey Willis and her mom Mary Ellzey volunteer to be among the people prepping the peanut butter and apple jelly sandwiches for the volunteer grillers and servers to provide to the people. By the way, Brooke’s husband Assistant Williston Fire Chief Jimmy Willis Jr. was a few tents away being among the representatives of Williston Fire Rescue. (His picture and others are in the 2021 story with photos, which is in the archived link at the bottom of this story.)

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Peanuts are sold at the festival.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Tasha Gaskins of Gaskins Honey sells honey. She is among the vendors at the festival. She and her husband Josh Gaskins keep bees and sell local honey from those bees of Lake City (Columbia County) – the buzzing, honey-making pollinators.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Kelby Osteen (left) is an EMT with Levy County Fire Rescue and Gabrielle Douglas is a Paramedic with Levy County Fire Rescue. This group that helps people by responding to fires and taking them to the hospitals, because Levy County has no hospital, is also known as the Levy County Department of Public Safety. Osteen and Douglas shared information about this county government agency, and they gave away small fire helmets to children, and other they gave away other trinkets to passersby. They also tried to recruit new firefighters and medical personnel to the agency.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Maureen Mailla is part of the team at Manatee Insurance Solutions, based in Chiefland. Linda Hagan is the agent for this company, which is among the insurance companies at the festival.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Cross City Mayor Kenneth ‘Tank’ Lee (center) stands with Solar Bear solar specialists Julian McDonald and Chris Barrow. The Solar Bear team installs solar panels that provide electricity created from sunshine. This group was among the vendors of that service at the festival. The mayor happened to see a journalist he knows who was shooting the breeze with the solar specialists and he agreed to the photo opportunity. It’s all about the serendipity of festival fun.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Susan Howell hugs Sue Ellen Goodman after having not seen each other for some time. Goodman was among the people helping share information about the city’s upcoming new animal shelter.’

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Helping people learn about the Williston Community Animal Shelter Inc. are (from left) Cathy Robinson, Renee Nipper, Sue Ellen Goodman and Williston Mayor Charles Goodman. This will be a no-kill shelter for stray dogs and cats found in Williston and the surrounding area.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
UF/IFAS Levy Extension Master Gardner Volunteers (from left) Lisa Posteraro, Jim Posteraro and Mary Gibbins helped people learn about plants and more to the festival.

2022 Williston Peanut Festival
Sherry Screws (left) and Emmarae Blackburn are seen as they represent Drummond Community Bank a division of Seacoast Bank. Seacoast Bank is anticipated to be more visible as the name on the bank by March of 2023.

To see the 2021 story, photos and videos from that previous peanut festival, click HERE.


Chiefland’s water future discussed
City agrees to buy street sign from FDOT

By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 14, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.
It was a night of discovery on 2022 Columbus Day in Chiefland.
     While proving the Earth was a globe rather than being a flat tabletop structure was partly thanks to Columbus, the discoveries from Monday night were more localized.
     The regular twice-monthly meeting Monday night (Oct. 10) included several actions and information, including the city hearing about the potential for capitalization from its freshwater wellfield area to the approval of a $1,500 street sign purchase.
     As he began speaking with them, Suwannee River Water Management Deputy District Director of Business and Community Services Tim Alexander mentioned to the City Commission members that he appreciates what they must do to be elected and then to serve the public. 
     Alexander mentioned that in addition to his job at the SRWMD, he has been an elected member of the Dixie County School Board for 22 years.
     Chiefland Mayor Chris Jones had been speaking with Alexander, the SRWMD department director said, about water resources and what the city can do with them.
     The City of Chiefland and the SRWMD bought land for wellhead protection years ago, Alexander said. 
     As the future unfolds, Alexander said, the city has opportunities to capitalize on that wellfield. Mentioning that he is not the most astute regarding certain technical aspects of wellfields, he let another professional address some points in that regard.
     Joining Alexander from the SRWMD was Chief Professional Engineer Leroy Marshall of the SRWMD Office of Agriculture and Environmental Projects.
     Alexander said his first priority of the night was to extend to the city a “hand of assistance” from the water management district to see what the city plans and what assistance it may need from the SRWMD as the municipal government moves forward.
     Vice Mayor Robert Norman “Norm” Weaver asked Alexander about who is responsible for the infrastructure, for instance, if the city piping its water to another place other than Chiefland.
     Alexander said that when he was the Dixie County manager, he represented Dixie County on the Nature Coast Regional Water Authority (with its office in the City of Fanning Springs) as the representative for Dixie County. The Nature Coast Regional Water Authority was initiated by the Gilchrist County School Board, the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, and cities. It was expanded to include the City of Fanning Springs, Cross City, Dixie County, and Levy County, although the seven cities other than Fanning Springs in Levy County are not part of this water authority.
     In regard to the infrastructure from the water authority to Old Town, the water authority owns the infrastructure, Alexander explained as he answered Weaver’s question.
     The City of Fanning Springs, Alexander said, provides the water, sets the rates and performs the billing and collections to the customers in Old Town.
     “I’m not here to try to sell you on the (water) authority,” Alexander said. “Let me make that very clear.”
     Previous Chiefland City Commission members have voted against being part of the Nature Coast Regional (or Rural) Water Authority
     Alexander said he mentioned this because that is why the SRWMD bought the additional 155 acres in the wellfield, where the City of Chiefland owns the other 33 acres.
     However, the future unfolds at the wellfield property, Alexander said the SRWMD wants the City of Chiefland to have a voice on what it wants to see in regard to how things are done there.
     Weaver then asked if the City of Chiefland asked the Nature Coast Regional Water Authority to pipe water to some city, then the water authority owns the pipeline and the City of Chiefland decides the water rates and collects from the bills.
     Weaver then asked if the City of Chiefland for some reason wanted to cut off the supply of water to that unnamed city, could Chiefland do so?
     Alexander said that depends.
     Water is a resource governed by the state, Alexander said. The SRWMD’s duty is to permit the use of water in this district based on the most beneficial and reasonable public use – and to protect the consumers who have established water uses, Alexander said.
     Before the city leaders enter into any agreement, they need to consider what is possible. 
     Alexander mentioned for instance that not only might the city leaders want to be able to cut off a city that is a customer, but Chiefland may want to create some redundancy to assure the people of Chiefland will have water if something should occur to endanger that water supply.
     SRWMD Chief Professional Engineer Marshall then spoke abut grants that go through the water management district office to help municipalities with water issues.
     The SRWMD is accepting ideas of proposals for water projects from cities or communities, Marshall said. 
     The district staff takes the ideas for projects and collaborates with the applicant to bring the project to a point where the SRWMD thinks the project can be funded through grants, Marshall said. It starts with an idea, he said. The project need not be drafted to the point that it is shovel-ready, he added.
     Marshall became the Chief Professional Engineer of the SRWMD Office of Agriculture and Environmental Projects in July of 2021, he said. Since then, he continued, he has seen six grants that had application deadlines within weeks, and the district was unable to complete the process because it lacked sufficient time to apply.
     Chiefland, and other parts of the district are urged to help the SRWMD be ready to apply for grants by providing the district with ideas, which can be formulated into actionable applications for grants.
     The SRWMD includes all or part of in a 15-county region in North Central Florida. Chiefland is within the district.
    The bottom line from the lengthy conversation is that Alexander told the city that the water management district is available to help the city obtain funding for water projects.
     Alexander said the regional projects are looked upon more favorably by funding resources in contrast with city projects.
     Another way the SRWMD can help Chiefland, Alexander said, is by providing a feasibility study if the city sees a potential market for its water service.

Sign Purchase
     The Chiefland City Commission on Monday night (Oct. 10) voted to pay $1,500 to a contractor – Summerville Electric – to install a sign that will be made by the Florida Department of Transportation to go on the hurricane-resistant bar that holds up a stoplight at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 (also known as Main Street) and Park Avenue (also known as {Dr.} Martin Luther King {Jr.} Road).
     The funding will come from the Streets Fund, City Manager Laura Cain said.
     The new sign will designate Park Avenue where it crosses U.S. Highway 19 (aka Main Street) as being named for Dr. King as well as maintaining its primary name of Park Avenue.
     The city leaders have had some conversations with members of the Chiefland Neighborhood Task Force during the regular twice-monthly meetings about which throughfare to name after Dr. Martin Luther King (Jan. 15, 1929- April 4, 1968), a renowned civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
     After all of the previous discussion, the city leaders chose to just let the Levy County government put a sign up to name Park Avenue, east and west of U.S. 19, to be “a.k.a. Martin Luther King Rd.”
     These smaller signs on three of the 15 or so of those particular intersections in Chiefland do not show the actual name of the man for whom many byways are named to memorialize and honor throughout the United States of America.
     In another matter related to the late honorable reverend Dr. King, Heather Shepherd, who said she is the vice chairman of the Levy County Chapter of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, was granted approval of her request related to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gala.
     The 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gala is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Tommy Usher Community Center, which historically has been known also as the Pineland Community Center.
     The Tommy Usher Community Center is located at 506 S.W. Fourth Ave. (State Road 345) in Chiefland.
     The city granted Shepherd’s request, too, for the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk in Chiefland, on Jan. 16, 2023 – starting at 12 p.m. (high noon).
     The walk is set to happen from Chiefland Middle High School to Trail Head Park on U.S. 19. The city granted permission for the annual walk.
     Before and after the walk, there is an annual celebration at the endpoint of the walk – a park.
     The celebration is set to be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2023, in Trail Head Park in Chiefland. January 16, 2023, is the Monday national holiday set aside to honor the late Dr. King.
     Shepherd mistakenly called Trail Head Park, “Depot Park,” which is on the east side of Main Street (U.S. 19), and that park is the location of the historic Chiefland Train Depot, when she sought permission from the city government for the walk and for the celebration event.
     The 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk scheduled to be in Chiefland, will end as noted at Trail Head Park, located on Main Street (U.S. Highway 19) on the west side, north of Southwest Third Avenue to Southwest Park Avenue (more or less with some commercial development on the west side of U.S. 19).

Other Actions
     The city agreed to close certain roads around First United Methodist Church of Chiefland for the church’s Trunk-Or-Treat event slated for 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.
     Amy Fike, the church secretary asked for the traditional roads to be closed starting at 5 p.m., and the City Commission agreed.
      First United Methodist Church of Chiefland is hosting its annual Trunk-or-Treat event. Everyone is welcome to come in costume to visit the various vehicles that will be decorated, and people will be giving out candy. The program is in the area near the C. Doyle McCall Pavilion. The church is located at 707 N. U.S. Highway 19 (also known as Main Street) in Chiefland.
     The elected leaders of one of Levy County’s eight municipalities took other actions during Columbus Day 2022, too.
     While no “Student of the Month” was provided by Chiefland Elementary School to the city leaders to honor, there were two from Chiefland Middle High School. One of those two was in the Hardy R. Dean Sr. Municipal Building (also known as Chiefland City Hall) on the night of Columbus Day 2022 to accept the recognition they earned.
     Both students were honored by the presenter of the night – Chiefland City Commissioner Lewrissa “Rissa” Johns -- reading into the record comments from the student’s teacher.
     Sammylyn Cannon, a sixth grade student at Chiefland Middle High School was honored by Commissioner Johns reading comments from the sixth grade teachers about this student.
     Jaiden Jones, a twelfth grader at Chiefland Middle High School was present to hear the comments, as well as to accept the certificate awarded.    

‘Florida Forests Week’
celebration set for Oct. 23-29

Florida Forest Week

Information and Graphic Art Provided
By Senior Forester Joe MacKenzie
ISA Certified Arborist - Florida Forest Service
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Published Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
In recognition of the importance of Florida’s forests, the week of Oct/ 23-29 is being celebrated across Florida as “Florida Forests Week.”
     The week recognizes the importance of Florida’s forests and forest-related industries to our state’s environment and economy. According to a study by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), forestry and forest products are ranked as the state’s top agricultural commodity and the leading agricultural export. The UF/IFAS study reports that forestry has a $25 billion impact on the state’s economy.
     Statewide, the forest industry helps to provide jobs for more than 124,000 people.
     But did you also know that more than 5,000 items that are part of our daily lives are made using resources from working forests?
     Some are obvious, such as paper, boxes, furniture, and lumber. Others are mind-blowing, such as cancer treatments. Some help keep you looking good: hairspray, lipstick, and other cosmetics.
     Others help keep you feeling good: aspirin, cough syrup, and other medicines. Some help keep you clean: shampoo, toothpaste and soap.
     Still others help clean things around you: laundry detergent, pine cleaners and dish washing liquid. Some help you work: ink, computer casings and cell phone screens. Others help you play: sports equipment, musical instruments and fireworks. Some you eat: ice cream, spices, hot chocolate, Twinkies, salad dressings and fatfree foods.
     Others you wear: rayon, fragrances and eyeglass frames. Some help get you down the road: tires, steering wheels, and asphalt. Others help you around the house: carpet, paint, and mulch.
     Florida is celebrating Florida Forests Week Oct. 23-29. Be sure to join in the fun by using all your favorite “Goods from the Woods!”


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Ad For Edward Jones
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Central Florida Electric Cooperative Ad In HardisonInk.com
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Yellow Jacket RV Resort of Dixie County ad on HardisonInk.com
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Taste of Dixie Diner New ad in HardisonInk.com on June 15, 2021
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Robert Echols showing reverence for life


Waaste Pro cares about community and advertises on HardisonInk.com
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Levy County Tourist Development Council Ad On Hardisonink.com
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Levy County Election Results From Nov 8 2022
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