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BPR - four sports sign-ups
start this Saturday;

Sign up as early as possible
Published July 18, 2019 at 1:19 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Children who want to participate in cheerleading, soccer, flag football or contact football are invited to bring their parents or guardians to sign up for those sports at James Cobb Park on Saturday (July 20) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


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Levy County Dixie County Gilchrist County


     Cheerleading is for ages 5 to 12 years old. The fee is $100.
     There are four age groups for soccer. Soccer ages are 3 to 5 years old; 6 to 8 years old; 9 to 11 years old; and 12 to 14 years old. The fee for soccer is $65.
     There are three age groups for flag football. Flag football ages are 5 to 6 years old; 7 to 8 years old; and 9 and 10 years old. The fee for flag football is $65.
     There are three age groups for contact football. Contact football ages are 7 and 8; 9 and 10; and 11 to 12 years old. The fee for contact football is $100.
     The deadline to sign up is Aug. 15.
     There is a call for coaches and volunteers to help in all sports. For more information call 352-486-2354.

Lower Suwannee National
Wildlife Refuge is accepting
comments about proposed
hunting permit fee increase
from now through Aug. 15

By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Published July 16, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) is accepting public comments on increasing the yearly hunter access fee for hunting on the Refuge.
     The current fee is $15 and we are proposing a $10 increase to $25 for the 2020-2021 season. The recreational fees will be retained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a part of the Recreational Fee Program and used for road maintenance as part of the administration of the hunting program.
     The Refuge maintains 194 miles of public driving and secondary grass road/trails accessible by walking or biking, providing public access to some of the most remote parts of the Refuge.
     Since 1981, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has had authority to collect recreation fees. Since 1997, the Service has been able to retain fees collected at the station, first under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program and then, in 2004, under the authority of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA).
     The FLREA was established to provide funding for recreation program improvements. Typical projects paid for by recreation fee funds include road and parking lot maintenance, brochures, envelopes, handling and mailings of hunt information, trail improvements, and salaries for law enforcement.
     A fee analysis has been done by Refuge staff and these fees are proposed based on what nearby entities and National Wildlife Refuges are requesting. The refuge is proposing to make these fee changes effective next year’s hunt season. 
     We are interested in hearing from you regarding the proposed new fee requirement and are requesting public comments from now through Aug. 15. Please submit any comments by email (; Subject Line: “Hunt Fee Comment”), phone (352.492.0238 x224), or mail (Hunt Fee Comments c/o Andrew Gude, 16450 NW 31stPlace, Chiefland, FL 32626) on the proposed fee changes.

FWC announces change
to deer hunting rules;

All deer harvested must be reported
By the FWC
Published July 16, 2019 at 10:49 p.m.
This is Important information for deer hunters.
     Beginning this hunting season, which starts Aug. 3 in Zone A, new rules take effect requiring hunters to record all harvested deer in a harvest log and report the harvest to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) harvest reporting system.
     Hunters can use FWC’s harvest reporting app to comply with the requirement to log their harvest information before moving a deer from the point of harvest. The app also enables hunters to report harvested deer to the FWC, which must be done prior to
      1) final processing of the deer,
     2) the deer or any parts of the deer being transferred to any meat processor or taxidermist, or
     3) the deer leaving the state.
     Hunters also can log harvested deer on a paper harvest log and then report the harvest to the FWC via the app or by calling the FWC’s toll-free deer reporting hotline. More details about how to log and report harvested deer are coming soon!
     These harvest logging and reporting requirements impact all deer hunters including:
     1) hunters under 16 years of age
     2) resident hunters 65 years and older
     3) those with a disability license
     4) military personnel
     5) those hunting on their homestead in their county of residence.
     For more information about new statewide hunting rules, including many that deal with deer hunting, visit


Levy County Florida
Column and Photo
By Myrtice Scabarozi © July 16, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday (June 20) at the Levy County Quilt Museum -- 11050 N.W. 10th Ave. (near Levyville, kind of on the way to Judson on Levy County Road 134 from U.S. Alt. 27).
     Our group was happy to be back together. We had several visitors, two of which joined us at lunch. We’re hoping we’ll be on their destination list next trip.
     Tuesday (July 9), we found a quilt frame waiting for us. Thanks for thinking of us. Wish we had a way to display the many variations of quilting frames that have been donated over the years. That’s definitely way down on a list, and it will probably never get done.
     Correctional Officer Greg and the adult male inmates from Lancaster Correctional Institution (LCI) were out this week. We got the long-awaited shelves for our “stash” room. We finally have places to put the fabric and notions we keep for future projects. That means shortly we could work on the storage room where we put almost everything until we will get around to dealing with it. Every now and then, we can see the floor. We’ve learned that when we get the room that clean, more boxes show up. Thanks for helping us in every way that you do, LCI.

Another of Evelyn's work. We really appreciate her help.


16 child actors
show great promise
for performances;

School House Rock Live Jr.
slated to be in Chiefland
two weekends -- July 19-21 and 26-28

Performers provide a group shot opportunity on Thursday night on stage. Here, the set shows the huge TV that is a part of the play, as well as other aspects of the stage setting.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 12, 2019 at 9:29 a.m.
Sixteen children have been rehearsing three times a week for three to four months this summer, Director Rebecca Locklear said Thursday night (July 11), as they worked on performing School House Rock Live Jr.

Some of the actors rehearsing as the singer of the song Just A Bill b
egins her solo are seen here.

Providing a closer-knit photo opportunity than the across the stage shot, the actors -- Landon Fullwood (Tom); Aidan Van Bourgonndien (George); Cameron Cannon (Dori); Alexis Lipscomb (Shulie); Trace Klemencic (Joe); Aubri Alford (Dina); Alexander Tapia (Young Elvis); Jackson Asbell (Old Elvis); Jordan Frye (Interplanet and Janet); Sara Aman (Statue of Liberty); and members of the Ensemble – Carson Asbell, Dalton Frye, Hayden Tumlin, Laeleigh Barber, Raya Ng and Tommy Davis.-- are seen here.

     Locklear, who said she has been an assistant director in “billions” of plays performed by the Suwannee Valley Players Troupe, heralds her first full directorship with this production. Her stage direction and guidance on Thursday night was strong.
     How does she feel about all of the young performers?
     "I am proud of them every night," Locklear said.
     Sandra Wilcox and Angie Acevedo are assistant directors for School House Rock Live Jr., where the children have rehearsed and will perform at The Chief Theater, 25 E. Park Av., in Chiefland (across the street from the Chiefland Police Department).
     Jeremy Locklear, Rebecca’s younger brother, is in charge of sound for the play. William Tumlin is handling lighting.
     David Wilcox, Sandra’s husband, helped build the set, which includes a giant television as a very significant backdrop (and potential portal) and huge book backs that show various academic areas of study, like science and social studies on those big binders.
     As noted on the Music Theatre International website, this play is based on the popular award-winning 1970s cartoon series School House Rock that helped teach children certain aspects of English language arts, science, social studies, history, mathematics and other academics.
     Some characters have been added to this live performance in comparison with the cartoon, including Elvis, Janet and Ensemble.
     This onstage version is a fast-paced musical that teaches lessons with clever, catchy tunes. The children performing at The Chief Theater are excellent in their parts.
     Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. is bound to please patrons of the performing arts as these youngsters provide audiences with a musical play upon which they worked a lot this summer.
     The SVP traditionally has included a summer play by child actors, and this year’s work under Director Rebecca Locklear, Assistant Director Sandra Wilcox and Angie Acevedo shows those adult leaders in community theater succeeded in bringing forth the best effort from the children who participated.
     As noted on the Music Theatre International website, this energetic musical follows Tom, a young schoolteacher, who is nervous about his first day of teaching.
     “He tries to relax by watching TV,” MTI notes, “when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music.”
     Memorable songs, such as Just a Bill, Lolly, Lolly, Lolly (get your adverbs here) and Conjunction Junction bring his lesson plans vividly to life.
     The young performers and the parts they are portraying in the play follow: Landon Fullwood (Tom); Aidan Van Bourgonndien (George); Cameron Cannon (Dori); Alexis Lipscomb (Shulie); Trace Klemencic (Joe); Aubri Alford (Dina); Alexander Tapia (Young Elvis); Jackson Asbell (Old Elvis); Jordan Frye (Interplanet and Janet); Sara Aman (Statue of Liberty); and members of the Ensemble – Carson Asbell, Dalton Frye, Hayden Tumlin, Laeleigh Barber, Raya Ng and Tommy Davis.
     Call 352-493-2787 or 352-443-9096 to reserve a seat! Show dates are July 19-21 and 26-28. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children.

Camp Anderson Summer Fun Continues
Dixie County
Camp Anderson Camp Director William Bloodworth provided this photo to show part of the fun from the fifth week (July 1-5) of Camp Anderson, a Christian camp retreat. There are four more camp weeks left this summer. He noted the following. 'We had such an AMAZING week of camp! These campers and counselors played hard at paintball, tubing, and our new 8 Minute Madness! They worshipped each night with the Camp Andy band, and heard God’s Word preached by Pastor Brandon Emerson! We had so much fun! God worked in some amazing ways. This week, 52 people gave their lives to Christ; 40 rededicated their lives to Him; and 34 made the decision to get baptized! It was an incredible week!'

Dixie County
To see a video provided by Micah Kitchen, Marketing And Multimedia for Camp Anderson, click HERE.

Bloodworth said on Wednesday morning (July 10) that he is thankful to God for all of the people who have invested in their community by contributing to Camp Anderson. People and corporations have donated vehicles and real estate, he said. There have been monetary contributions, as well as people who have volunteered their time and other resources for this Christian camp. Volunteers come to cook, clean and assist however they can. Through Camp Anderson, ‘The people in the Tri-County Area are making a strong impact on the Southeast United States for the cause of Christ, and for the good of the community.’ Bloodworth added that there are 400 children a week at summer camp each week this year. This positive Christian mission is not just Camp Anderson or the Anderson family, Bloodworth said. Also, it is a complete community effort that is large and growing. People come to Camp Anderson from all over the Southeast United States, Texas and elsewhere.
Published July 10, 2019 at 11:59 a.m.

Photo and Video Provided


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Red Snapper and Grouper
Dixie County
Published July 8, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.

Fishing Fun
Cedar Key
Published July 7, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.
Photo Provided

Big Redfish
Cedar Key
Lamar Stegall of Williston is seen with a 26-inch redfish as he and his 2-year-old grandson were fishing out of Cedar Key recently.
Published July 2, 2019 at 2:39 p.m.

Photo Provided

Allie Trimm's First Catch
Gilchrist County
Allie Trimm, who is going to start kindergarten this fall, was camping with family during this past weekend. That is when she caught her first fish. She was using her Barbie Princess pole, which luckily didn't snap, when she caught the fish at the boat ramp at Hart Springs of Gilchrist County. Congratulations Allie. She is seen here with her mother Katie Trimm.
Published June 25, 2019 at 7:19 a.m.

Photo Provided


Williston’s Independence Day
parade and festivities show
love and camaraderie abounding

Williston Florida
This set of parade watchers is definitely dressed for the event. Here’s a happy set of children showing hope for America’s future.

Story, Photos and Videos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 6, 2019 at 6:39 p.m.
Sharon Hardison
and Sharon McCall
Williston Deputy Police Chief Clay Connolly served as the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Williston Independence Day Parade on Wednesday (July 3).

     Deputy Chief Connolly heralds 31 Years of Service to the city’s police force.
     Like Patty Galyean and a number of other people, Deputy Police Chief Connolly enjoys a birthday each July 3.
     Connolly, an honorable member of the WPD, was joined by WPD Chief Dennis Strow, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum and many sworn law enforcement officers and volunteers from the Florida Highway Patrol, Levy County Sheriff’s Office’s Citizens On Patrol, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocala Police Department, the WPD and other agencies and groups to make the parade a success again this year.
     This year, I chose to take a different approach to covering the Williston Independence Day Parade.
     This year, I rode in the parade as a unit of the procession through Williston.
     Still recovering from the Dec. 8 Chiefland Christmas Parade, where I shattered bones and had emergency surgery on my left arm (ulna) and wrist bones (one metal plate, four screws holding it to the arm bone and seven pins holding wrist bone parts together), I decided to look at the parade from inside a vehicle, rather than as an exterior observer.
     Likewise, instead of the third person form of writing, this story is primarily first person.
     My lovely and talented wife Sharon Hardison joined me for the fun of decorating our 2013 Nissan Juke. We put red, white and blue shiny frill stuff on some windows and the back. Our stuffed Uncle Sam was up through the sun roof. (If it was a night parade Uncle Sam would have been through the moon roof.)
     Sharon Brannon gracefully placed us between God and country. The representatives of the First United Methodist Church of Williston were in front of the Juke, and the Levy County Democratic Party representatives were behind the Juke.
     I watched the First UMC reps running and running to hand-deliver beads to plenty of parade onlookers. Looking back at my Democratic neighbors, I saw them carrying their banner and promoting the Democratic Party.
     Sandwiched by two sets of noble and brave souls, and surrounded by the metal of the Juke, and with my wife by my side, I guided the latest addition to our fleet down the street. Sharon was quick to remind me to be alert for children scampering into the highway as they retrieved candy.
     Covering the parade as it passes is more traditional and easier than being in it and covering it. Of course, for me, both ways are fun and both ways bring me happiness.
     And now the rest of this story will be in captions below the video and still pictures.

This 12-minute video is the result of more than an hour of two video cameras running. The first footage is stable, because it is from the windshield mounted camera. The audio becomes louder and the video is less stable at the end. All of that video is by Sharon Hardison, who worked with a very small handheld camera.
Williston Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Carson serves as the driver for Williston Deputy Police Chief Clay Connolly, who served as the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Williston Independence Day Parade. Deputy Chief Connolly is seen in the background here, but he was in the bed of the truck for at least some number of photo ops by people watching the parade pass by.
This photo captured by Sharon McCall shows Sharon Hardison on the far side of the 2013 Nissan Juke, Uncle Sam through the sun roof and me behind the wheel. The magnetic sign on the side of the door says “ Daily News Website For The Tri-County Area.” The graphic is a map of the three counties, with a quill and inkwell.

Williston Florida
Sharon Hardison captured this picture of me with her cell phone. We lined up in the area near the Williston High School Football Field. Behind me in the distance is the abandoned old school, which probably is going to be developed into retail stores.

Williston Florida
Our stuffed Uncle Sam is perched through the sun roof. People can see me gripping the wheel with both hands, my left arm out of the splint. I will find out July 11 how my bones are progressing with the fusing they are supposed to do, but have been slow in doing since being broken Dec. 8. More surgery or no more surgery are the two options from the July 11 review.

Williston Florida
In this photo by Sharon Hardison, I am holding the ribbon we won by participating in the parade. Sharon C. Brannan, CPA, presented this ribbon to us (and a ribbon was presented to parade participant). Brannan is one of the people who volunteered for this event, which is wholly hosted by the City of Williston.

Williston Florida
Some of the multitude of vehicles lined up for the parade are seen here. At the front of the vehicles lined up on the left side is an older truck pulling a trailer with members of the Williston Chamber of Commerce riding in it.

Williston Florida
Some of the vehicles for the Ministerial Faith Alliance are seen here as a red Corvette approaches.

Williston Florida
Sharon Brannan (red shirt) speaks with Williston Police Chief Dennis Strow and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Donor Recruiter Tammy Baldassarre just before the parade starts. Brannan was among the leading parade staff members to organize the departure of vehicles from the roads near the old Williston High School football field.

Williston Florida
2019-2020 Jr. Miss Levy County Fair Anna Lane Boyer is seen moments before the start of the parade. She and many other pageant queens were grouped in part of the big parade.

Williston Florida
2019 Chiefland Watermelon Queen Shelbi McCall poses next to the vehicle transporting her along the parade route.

Williston Florida
2019 Chiefland Watermelon Queen Shelbi McCall poses with 2019 Chiefland Watermelon Teen Queen Rieley Beauchamp before the start of the parade.

Williston Florida
2019-2020 Tiny Tot Miss Levy County Fair Camille Sullivan is seen waving at the back of the convertible Corvette driven by Patty Galyean, with Camille’s mom riding in the passenger seat. The small queen has mastered the queen wave.

Williston Florida
Some of the various pageants’ queens provide a photo opportunity.

Williston Florida
Some members of the 2019 Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Champion Baseball Team – the Williston High School Red Devils Varsity Baseball Team – are seen approaching the float they were to ride in. Seen here, they are captured in the driver’s sideview mirror of a 2013 Nissan Juke.

Williston Florida
Most of the members of the 2019 Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A State Champion Baseball Team – the Williston High School Red Devils Varsity Baseball Team – are seen on the float they rode on. Some of the state champions arrived shortly before the float left the staging area, making it too difficult to capture at the last minute before launch of that float.

Williston Florida
Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison and School Board Member Paige Brookins are among the elected officials in the parade.

Williston Florida
Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks (left) and Vice Chairman Matt Brooks are seen in front of the golf cart they rode in during the parade. Joining these leaders is Bowen Brooks, one of Matt and Angie Brooks’ many delightful children.

Williston Florida
Traveling in the parade behind the Juke, and reflected in the passenger’s sideview mirror are members of the Levy County Democratic Party.

Williston Florida
M- Some of the many, many parade watchers are seen along the very long route. Williston is the place in the Tri-County Area for the Fourth of July Parade, and it is held on July 3 to let people enjoy festivities there and elsewhere.

Williston Florida
Staff members of Quick Care Med in Williston wave to the vehicle. If this walk-in clinic looks like the former KFC, that is because the former restaurant was renovated and refurbished to provide for this clinic.

Williston Florida
Williston City Council Member Elihu Ross is also a member of the LCSO Citizens On Patrol volunteers who help with traffic control.

Williston Florida
The Back Door Antiques store is among the many business interests on Noble Avenue (U.S. Alt. 27) where the parade passes by as it goes through Williston.

Williston Florida
An FHP cruiser helps mark the turning point and end point for parade participants.

Williston Florida
(from left) Williston Police Department Officer Marquis Wright, Williston Police Chief Dennis Strow, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum and Pastor Reggie Williams socialize at the endpoint -- the right turning point -- for the parade.

After the parade, a JH Towing vehicle is seen proudly flying Old Glory. Also after the parade, that evening, people enjoyed the annual festivities at Horsemen’s Park.


Is Spanish Moss
killing your trees?

By Putnam County Senior Forester Andrew Usina
Published June 28, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
     PALATKA –
When people think of old-time Florida, some people may think about large, majestic live oak trees with Spanish Moss blowing in the wind.
     This iconic image of old Florida is beautiful, but what about the Spanish Moss? How did it get there? Is it killing the tree? These are all common questions, not just about moss in oak trees, but moss that is found in trees throughout the state of Florida.
     What is Spanish Moss? Technically, Spanish Moss is not a “Moss” at all. Spanish Moss is an air plant. It is referred to as an epiphyte. As with most air plants, they attach their root system onto the tree unlike mistletoe which steals nutrients by growing into the tree. In fact, air plants receive the water and nutrients they need from moisture and dust in the air. Spanish moss needs the support system of a tree to grow. Often the moss is seen growing in either live oak or cypress trees. This is because it prefers to grow in wetter, more humid environments and both trees provide an excellent support system.
     How did Spanish Moss get into the tree? There are multiple ways that Spanish Moss can spread to trees. One common way is birds using parts of the plant when building their nests. Spanish Moss can reproduce asexually which means a part of the plant can reproduce on its own. Another way the plant spreads is through small feather like seeds. When released, the seeds flow with the wind and land in the crevices of tree bark and begin to grow from there. As with all plants, Spanish Moss needs sunlight to grow. Since oak trees generally have a strong support system, and their canopy is in full sun, it is a perfect place for Spanish Moss to grow.
     Is Spanish Moss killing your trees? Since Spanish Moss is not stealing nutrients from the tree it is growing on, it is near impossible for it to kill a tree. The only “damage” caused by Spanish Moss is slightly slower growth rates and some added weight to tree branches which may break off branches. People often see that their tree seems to be overtaken with Spanish Moss and they think that the moss killing the tree. This is not the case. A tree overtaken with Spanish Moss is more than likely already dying from some other cause or causes. Some causes could include: too much or too little water, damage to the root system, disease, or just old age. Since Spanish Moss needs a support system and sunlight to grow, and there is more sunlight available due to the tree losing leaves and dying back, it is the perfect opportunity for the moss to take advantage.
     If Spanish Moss is something that you would like to remove from a tree, the best method is to remove it by hand. Consider hiring an arborist to completely remove the moss from the tree. However, the moss will eventually grow back, and removal will be required again in the future. There are sprays that can be used, but it is important not to use too much and to apply it at the correct time. An arborist should be able to determine if the use of chemicals is appropriate in your situation.
     For more information on Spanish Moss and other forest health topics, contact Putnam County Senior Forester Andrew Usina at or 386-329-3717. 
     The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at

Bay scallop season opens
July 1 in several counties

Published June 26, 2019
Recreational bay scallop season for Franklin through the northwestern portion of Taylor, as well as Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties opens July 1 and will remain open through Sept. 24. This includes Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks, Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa.

Dixie County Scallops

     Do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters commonly used for recreational activities such as the Homosassa River or Crystal River. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in trash receptacles or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.

Bag limits and other regulations
     Bag and vessel limits for 2019 throughout the entire bay scallop harvest zone are 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half-gallon of bay scallop meat per vessel.
     Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.
     There is no commercial harvest allowed for bay scallops in Florida.
     Direct and continuous transit of legally-harvested bay scallops is now allowed through closed areas, where it was not allowed before. Boaters, however, may not stop their vessels in waters that are closed to harvest. Boaters must proceed directly to the dock or ramp to land scallops in a closed area.
     For information on bay scallop regulations, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

Boater and scalloper safety
     Be safe when diving for scallops. Wear a life jacket when underway and do not drink and boat.
     When scalloping in open water, divers should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.
     For more information, visit and click on “Divers-down Warning Devices.”
     Stow it, don’t throw it
     Don’t forget to stow your trash securely on your vessel so it doesn’t blow out and do not discard empty scallop shells in the Hernando or Crystal rivers.

Citizen Science

     Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email to ask questions or send additional information.
     Learn more about long-term abundance trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Bay Scallops” and “Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey.”


Tri-County Area volunteers
 earn first place

UF/IFAS Extension Nature Coast
Master Gardeners’ project
receives international recognition

Gainesville Florida
A Master Gardner Volunteer holds water lettuce.

Photo By Barbara Edmonds, UF/IFAS

Story Provided By Kirsten Romaguera
Public Relations Specialist
UF/IFAS Communications
University of Florida
Published June 19, 2019 at 2:19 p.m.
-- Florida’s climate supports the growth of all varieties of plants, from native to exotic species.
     But University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) experts have long worked to educate the public on identifying and controlling invasive plants, which displace native species and threaten the state’s native biodiversity.
     One recent UF/IFAS project targeting three invasive species along the Gulf Coast is set to be honored today (Wednesday, June 19) with a first-place award in the International Master Gardener Committee’s “innovative project” category.
     The UF/IFAS Extension Nature Coast Master Gardeners program, a group of trained volunteers serving Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, educated their communities and organized removal days of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, water lettuce and air potato vine as part of the “Enhancing Natives in the Nature Coast” project.
     “It all comes down to how we can be good stewards of our environment,” said Barbara Edmonds, Master Gardener coordinator based out of UF/IFAS Extension Levy County. “Our Master Gardeners program focuses on Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles, and at the core of that is ensuring the right plant is in the right place.”
     The project, which previously earned an Outstanding Master Gardener Team award in 2017, centered around three species intruding upon areas along the Gulf Coast that many enjoy recreationally: Cedar Key Island and Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge had an abundance of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia); Sue’s Sink, an exit point for cave divers at Manatee Springs State Park, was filled with water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes); and Yankeetown, farther south in Levy County, needed help controlling its air potato vine (Dioscorea bulbifera) population.
     Master Gardener volunteers served in key leadership positions, Edmonds said, fostering cooperation and collaboration between federal, state and local government officials, civic groups and residents. The removal processes utilized recommended UF/IFAS control practices based on the plant and the site, successfully removing from their respective targeted areas approximately 40 percent of Brazilian peppertree, 90 percent of water lettuce, and 80 percent of air potato vines present.
     Edmonds also noted the project’s importance beyond the targeted areas.
     “From a water standpoint, the outcome of this project helps to preserve our natural resources and restore some of those areas,” she said. “Sue’s Sink is fed by the aquifer, for example, and it was important that our process to remove the water lettuce did not use herbicides.”
     The project will continue, Edmonds added, with regular checkups on the areas and scheduled removal days as deemed necessary. Its mission will also be furthered through continuing to educate the community about invasive plant species identification and control.
     “I hope this project gives the general public more awareness of non-native invasive species that outcompete our native species for resources, and teaches them about mechanical, chemical and, in some cases, biological strategies for control,” Edmonds said. “We’d like for the public to look around their environment and know that their local Extension office is a resource to help them with any landscape-related question.”
     The International Master Gardener Committee’s Search for Excellence program recognizes seven categories of Extension Master Gardener volunteer work throughout the United States, Canada, and South Korea. This is UF/IFAS Extension Nature Coast Master Gardeners’ first application and first recognition.
     UF/IFAS Sumter County Master Gardeners earned a third-place recognition in the demonstration gardens category.


Appleton Museum offers
free admission for
active military and veterans

Marion County Ocala Appleton Musuem
Published June 5, 2019 at 8:29 a.m.
     OCALA —
The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, joins museums nationwide in participating in the 10th summer of Blue Star Museums, a program that provides free admission to our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families now through Sept. 1.
     The Appleton is pleased to extend this offer to veterans as well.
     Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019.
     This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens and more. A list of participating museums can be found by clicking HERE.
     The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard — as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.
     Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card, DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
     Veterans must also show ID.
      Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.
     Owned and operated by the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit


THURSDAY  JULY 18   1:19 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

Ad For Steamers Clam Bar And Grill
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CF Open House Levy County

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City Of Williston Florida


Harriett Downs Real Estate Ad

Ad For Chiefland Farmers Flea Market

Camp Valor

Cash Munny Ad On



Elder Options of North Central Florida



Gilchrist County


Cedar Key Island


Bronson Lub in Levy County Florida


Capital City Investments Danny Etheridge
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to contact Danny Etheridge, CRPC.

Tri County Community Resource Center
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Back Door Antiques Williston Florida Ad


Inglis Florida




Central Florida Electric Cooperative Ad In
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Archive Levy Dixie Gilchrist counties

Please Click On The Above Ad To Go To The Archived Stories And Photos.