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Gilchrist Rotary Club
members and guests
hear about a Trenton B&B
Seen here are Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Bob Clemons, Rotarian Patricia Knight and Marie Harrington.
Story and Photo
By Holly Creel
Published Aug. 21, 2019 at 10:49 a.m.
TRENTON -- A special thanks to Rotarian Patricia Knight for a tremendous presentation at the Gilchrist County Rotary Club on Monday, Aug. 19.
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As Gilchrist County Rotary President Bob Clemons introduced Patricia, he noted that she is a tireless and committed civil servant for our community and surrounding areas. Patricia introduced her guest speaker Marie Harrington, Hospitality Manager for BraLonni's Bed & Breakfast of Trenton.
Marie, who lives in Ocala, has the perfect background and education for this position. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Food Service and was even awarded Food Scientist of the Year! She loves to cook, and especially loves to bake, so guests can look forward to her delicious three course breakfasts that are complimentary with their room reservation.
BraLonni's is pronounced "Bray Lonni's" and the name is derived from the names of the owner's two grandchildren, Braylon and Zerlonni. Vicki Sawyer-Lindo is the owner and visionary of the beautiful and picturesque 190-acre property that has been designed to serve as a premier luxury event venue that also offers upscale lodging.
There are 11 bedrooms, all decorated and named after different parts of the world, inspired by the owner's love of travel. Examples of the names of the rooms are Tokyo, Egypt and Africa and all rooms are decorated with the theme of that location.
The building includes more than 28,000 square-feet and the grounds provide a peaceful, private and serene experience.
The amenities are numerous - a pergola, tiki bar, ice cream parlor, volleyball and basketball courts and walking trails are just a few of the special offerings at BarLonni's. Marie enthusiastically shared her excitement and passion about the uniqueness and beauty of BraLonni's.
Chef Jason of Spring Water Events served another fabulous luncheon - a Tex-Mex Bar of nachos, tacos and salad with all the condiments, sides and fillers - rice, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, beans, corn and more! It was a delicious and fun meal and thank you to Patricia Knight and Marie Harrington for an informative program!
Kittie Kontrol Workshop
Provides Trapping Information
(above) Molly Wege of Sheltering Hands instructs workshop trainees on safe, humane cat trapping at the event. Area cat lovers gathered Saturday (Aug. 10) at the Community Room part of Williston City Hall to discuss a new program called Kitty Kontrol. Kitty Kontrol is a partnership between Levy Animal Friends (LeAF) and Sheltering Hands. The mission of the project is to provide low-cost spay and neuter services to Levy County’s growing outdoor cat population. Residents are urged to play a role in TNR (trap, neuter and release) to help reduce cat overpopulation. This workshop introduced individuals to the program, taught basic trapping techniques, and Sheltering Hands began scheduling surgical dates for stray cats. The first surgical date is scheduled for Aug. 23. A second date will be announced for September. In order to qualify for the low-cost surgery, attendance at the training workshop is mandatory. Sheltering Hands is providing loaner traps and performing the surgeries. LeAf is consolidating the efforts of cat lovers and donors who are able to support the reduced fee being offered to those individuals who will help trap the stray cats, take them to the surgical site and return the strays to their originating points. For information about the Kitty Kontrol Project, please call 352-840-0663.
Published Aug. 18, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
Information And Photo Provided By Mary Flickinger
AmVets Post 88
Provides Flag Drop Box
(above) AmVets 88 Commander Dick Traud and Auxiliary 88 President Anna Elkins place a flag into the new flag box. AmVets Post 88 in Bronson now has a Flag Drop Box for American flags that need to be retired. It is located on the front porch at the AmVets Post 88, 10050 State Road 24, east of Bronson and west of Archer. The Flag Drop Box is accessible 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
(above) The flag drop box. AmVets Post 88 Commander Dick Traud and Auxiliary 88 President Anna Elkins invite everyone to bring any American flags that are faded and / or torn to AmVets Post 88 for retirement. ‘We are here to assist veterans in our community.’ Cmdr. Traud said. ‘If you are a veteran and have a need, please call 330-795-0213 and we will see if we can help.’
Published Aug. 14, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.
Information and Photos Provided
Bronson may seek hours limited
for access to county library
system’s free Internet service
Bronson Vice Mayor Jason Hunt holds up a wooden eagle that the Town Council voted to buy for $60 to help the Bronson High School’s Junior Class fund prom. Business owners in the town are buying them, and there is some word on the street about competitively decorating them. This version of the wooden eagle is different than most. Councilwoman Beatrice Roberts mentioned this eagle's wings are down, while the other version has the wings up. Also the word 'Eagles' is absent from the other version.
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 6, 2019 at 10:29 a.m.
BRONSON -- Town Councilwoman Beatrice Roberts on Monday night (Aug. 5) said she wants a sign erected at the Bronson Public Library to stop people from being in that parking lot late at night.
Bronson Fire Chief Dennis Russell sits behind Sherrie Schuler, a candidate for Seat 4, which is currently held by Jason Hunt, who is seeking reelection. Schuler helped the Town Council understand that the wooden eagle the Council unanimously approved to purchase for $60 helps the Bronson Middle High School 11th graders fund the prom. Bronson Mayor Robert Partin said he would like to buy one of those for his own residential lawn.
The Bronson Town Council -- (from left) Councilman Berlon Weeks, Vice Mayor Jason Hunt, Mayor Robert Hunt, Councilman James Beck and Councilwoman Beatrice Roberts begin their meeting on Monday night (Aug.6).
Town resident Daryll Mann, speaking from a chair in the audience and not identifying himself verbally until after a journalist asked the mayor to have people identify themselves, said the best method to stop people from being outside the public library when it is closed is to have the county stop Internet service then.
Town Councilman Berlon Weeks agreed with Mann's idea, saying that he knew it was possible for the county to have an automated system to stop Internet service during certain hours. There was no clear order from Town Council that night, however, to request the Levy County Public Library System to turn off that free Internet service when the doors are closed at the Levy County public library in Bronson.
While current Bronson leaders are leaning toward keeping people out of the public library parking lot at night, the town is definitely moving forward with its methods for closing public access to the town’s park after a certain point in time each day.
Due to vandals using vehicles to put ruts in soccer fields, and to destroy other public facilities at the park, the five-member Town Council has enacted an ordinance to regulate hours when that park is closed. It will be depending on the Levy County Sheriff’s Office to enforce its town ordinance regarding trespass in the park.
Also, on first reading Monday night, there was unanimous approval of a new town ordinance that calls for a maximum fine of $500 for people who “injure” or damage public property.
Mann, who was the most vocal member of the audience and who never spoke from the podium that night, said he was surprised the town did not have an existing ordinance regarding people destroying public property. Town Attorney Steven Warm told Mann that state law prohibits people from injuring public property, and while the town lacks a police force there is the Levy County Sheriff’s Office to enforce state law within the four corners of the municipality.
Also, during the meeting, Mann expressed his opinion about the potential for the Levy County Detention Facility and LCSO offices being connected to the town’s sewer collection system. As it stands, the jail and offices have bathrooms that empty into septic tanks and an onsite sewage processing plant.
Bronson Mayor Robert Partin has been tasked with working with Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum to determine if the LCSO wants to connect with the town’s wastewater system. After Councilman Weeks said he believes there is more than one meter for water service to the jail and offices, he said the town’s ordinance on collection fees bases those fees on water going into a home or business to determine the sewer rate.
There was some discussion about the water used for washing cruisers, etc., rather than for flushing toilets. Bronson Public Works Director Erik Wise said the town could have a meter to measure sewage water coming from a facility.
Mann said that if the jail gets some sort of different rate, then he wants the same option as a residential sewer customer. Mann said he pays for water that he uses to water his lawn as if it is was for flushing toilets, therefore the LCSO should have the same fee schedule.
Mayor Partin reminded listeners that the sheriff and Levy County Board of County Commissioners, who are the governing board for that property, have not even agreed to connect with the town. Weeks said that if the county agrees to allow the town to be its wastewater service provider, that he wants it to be a benefit for the town, not something where the town loses money to benefit the county.
Bronson Parks and Recreation Director Curtis Stacy gives the Town Council an update on sports registrations as he stands at the podium. The deadline to register is Aug. 15. Other people seen here are Town Clerk Shirley Miller (partially out of view behind the podium) and Town Councilman Berlon Weeks.
In other news from the Bronson Town Council meeting on Monday night, Bronson Parks and Recreation Director Curtis Stacy reported the following numbers for team registrations for fall sports – for soccer there are seven registrations; for flag football there are two registrations; for contact football there are five registrations; for cheerleading, there is one registrant.
Director Stacy said he believes that once the school year starts, more children will register for the town’s fall sports program.
In other action from the Town Council meeting, there was a unanimous vote of approval to adopt the revised occupational fee schedule for every business in the town’s limits.
Mann chimed in that since he does not own a business, he is not going to weigh-in on the fee being assessed annually for businesses to operate within the town limits. Decorum at Bronson Town Council meetings continues to appear to be without much structure, despite written guidelines that continue to not be enforced. Mann shared with the Town Council that if the town moves its fireworks to Veterans Day (Nov. 11), with an annual parade as a method to draw people to Bronson, then he would prefer the event is on Nov. 10, because that is the recognized birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Mann is a Marine, according to him.
Six candidates qualify for
Sept. 10 Bronson election
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 5, 2019 at 7:09 a.m.
BRONSON -- Two candidates in each of three races for Bronson Town Council seats have qualified for the Sept. 10 election, according to information from Bronson Town Clerk Shirley Miller, who serves as the supervisor of elections for this town election.
For Seat 2, it is James E. Beck versus Aaron Emanuel Edmondson Sr.
For Seat 4, it is Jason Hunt versus Sherrie Schuler.
For Seat 5, it is Franklin Schuler versus Tony Berlon Weeks Jr.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., qualified Bronson voters can cast their ballots at the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building.
Neuter Commuter booked
until September event
for dogs and cats to be fixed;
$20 for cats-$40 for dogs
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 31, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
TRI-COUNTY AREA – Pay To Spay is working with Cares Affordable Animal Clinic - Neuter Commuter to help dog and cat owners to spay or neuter their pets.
The three cats below were “fixed” through other veterinarians’ services, however Pay To Spay is an excellent method to have this surgery completed.
Goldy the cat Hardison, senior mascot of HardisonInk.com, was spayed by a veterinarian who honored a certificate that was won in a raffle through a fundraiser via the former Levy County Humane Society. Pay To Spay makes it easy and affordable for pet owners to get their pets fixed just like Goldy.
Inky the cat Hardison, junior mascot of HardisonInk.com, was spayed by The Family Pet Vet Dr. Ronald Spinks, before she was adopted from this wonderful veterinarian. Pay To Spay makes it easy and affordable for pet owners to get their pets fixed just like Inky.
Needles the Community Cat of the unrecorded subdivision of Jemlands was neutered as the first Levy County community cat to be fixed in the countywide program to reduce feral cats. Dr. Darlene Esler is the veterinarian who performed that surgery. She has been helping reduce the feral cat population in Levy County through this method, helping to reduce the number of cats that the county must euthanize. Pay To Spay makes it easy and affordable for dog or cat owners to get their pets fixed just like Needles. Needles was named that because he blends in with the pine needles where he often roams.
There is a Neuter Commuter event Aug. 4 in Trenton, however it is booked solid with dogs and cats. The Aug. 11 Neuter Commuter surgeries provided at the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market also are booked solid already, Lucille Rese, a volunteer for Pay To Spay said.
The next Neuter Commuter is in September and will be set up in Old Town for dogs and cats, Rese said. There are not any dates for registration or dates for the surgeries at this time, she added, although that is slated to happen.
The Neuter Commuter performs the surgery for $20 for cats and $40 for dogs, payable in advance to Pay To Spay. There is a cost of $10 for the rabies fee, for either cats or dogs, payable to Cares Affordable Animal Clinic on the date of surgery, Rese said.
There is a registration day, once a month in advance for the Neuter Commuter. The pet owner must apply in person, Rese said.
They either pay in advance at the website https://www.paytospay.org/, or they bring the payment to Rese. She has been meeting those pet owners for that purpose at Dunkin Donuts in Chiefland.
The Aug. 11 event at the Chiefland Farmers Flea Market is for 30 pets to be spayed or neutered. Again, that is entirely booked already.
All appointments for the Neuter Commuter are made in advance and payment must be received in advance of Rese filing for a surgery certificate.
Pay To Spay provided 262 spay-neuters in 2017 and 556 in 2018. One motto of the group is “Prevention is Kinder than Destruction.”
Gamblers buy Chiefland
a new police dog
(from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commission Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones (empty seat where Commissioner Donald Lawrence would be sitting if he was present) and City Commissioner Norman Weaver look at papers as they make decisions Monday night.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 24, 2019 at
CHIEFLAND – Mayor Chris Jones helped bring into focus Monday night (July 22) that $8,500 being spent by the city for a new police dog was generated from activity that appears to be unlawful.
Police Chief Scott Anderson
When the Chiefland Police Department raided “Internet cafés, with help from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies, the CPD seized thousands of dollars as well as illegal gambling machines, some of which were sold and some which were returned to companies from whence they had been leased.
Monday night, Chiefland Police Chief Scott Anderson asked the City Commission to authorize his purchase of a new canine partner for CPD K-9 Sgt. Pete Barnes. K-9 Riddle will be given to Chiefland Fire Rescue as a dog to conduct search and rescue, or recovery, of humans from those tragic events where the CFR might need that kind of dog.
Meanwhile, Chief Anderson was authorized by a 4-0 vote to use $8,500 of the CPD Law Enforcement Trust Fund to purchase a new dog that will arrive at the CPD doorsteps trained to detect illegal drugs, and to behave in a manner to tell the handler that the dog smells illegal drugs.
The police chief is buying the dog from Southern Coast K9 Inc., located in New Smyrna Beach. This police dog will be trained to detect the odors of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Voting in favor of allowing Chief Anderson to use trust fund money for a purpose for which the funds are allocated were Mayor Chris Jones, Vice Mayor Tim West and city commissioners Rollin Hudson and Norman Weaver. City Commissioner Donald Lawrence was absent from the regular City Commission meeting on Monday night.
The four elected municipal leaders of Chiefland also voted together in favor of granting Chief Anderson’s request to apply for a grant to fund the purchase of new “stop sticks,” which are something that police can throw in front of a fleeing vehicle to flatten its tires.
In other action from that night, on a matter not on the agenda, the four men present voted to reduce the annual review of City Manager Mary Ellzey, Police Chief Anderson and Fire Chief James Harris to once every two years.
This came on the heels of a special meeting where they gave the city manager another glowing evaluation for her success in managing the city’s business.
Commissioner Hudson said he felt the annual review of Ellzey, Anderson and Harris, who are all extremely qualified employees, is not needed but once every two years – rather than every year.
City Manager Ellzey joked that the City Commission may not like her next year. There was a mention by a commissioner, too, that there may be a time when a future City Commission would want an annual review of a city manager.
The three top city workers, however, will still have their employment contracts annually renewed or not renewed by the City Commission.
City Attorney Norm D. Fugate said the municipal leaders can revise this biannual review policy back to an annual status, rather than a biannual event if a majority of those future leaders deemed that to be a better public policy.
Vice Mayor West, moved, and it was adopted into the sole motion, to reduce the scale of grades from five to three.
West recommended and the other three present agreed to take off the two ends of the evaluation scale. Therefore, “Unacceptable (1)” and “Excellent (5)” were removed.
Therefore, each two years those three people hired annually by the City Commission will be evaluated on a scale that shows “Needs Improvement (1),” “Meets Expectations (2),” or “Exceeds Expectations (3).”
Also at the meeting Monday, the four men voted to accept on first reading the voluntary annexation into the city limits of two sets of adjacent property in the area of Long Pond Landing Subdivision, with one piece being on Northwest 50th Avenue, according to a map provided as part of the annexation package for City Commission members to review.
If both pieces are annexed through the second reading of the voluntary annexation petition, then those pieces of property become part of the whole of the city, according to city annexation laws.
Glenn Bryan seeking to add a 6.35 parcel of land said he is not seeking city water service.
Kathleen McFadden, Diane Moll, Helen Moll and Johan Moll, seeking to voluntarily annex a 1.68-acre parcel in the city limits, are seeking city water service and are willing to cover the expense of the 200- to 300 feet of water line that would need to be added, according to records and according to what was said at the meeting on Monday night.
Neither piece of property is currently in an area served by city wastewater collection and treatment, according to records and according to what was said at the meeting on Monday night.
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