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FWC issues last call for art contest entries
Deadline is Feb 28

FWC Art Contest
Art by Hailey Chen – 2022 First Place, Grades 4-6
Art Provided By FWC

Story By Michelle Kerr
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Published Feb. 1, 2023 at 2:30 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
The deadline is fast approaching for this year’s Art of Conservation Florida Fish Art Contest, hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).



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     This contest is open to youth in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade from across the state. The deadline to enter is Feb. 28 – start your entry today.
     Students from Florida can win top honors, international recognition and prizes while learning about fish, fishing and aquatic conservation. The Art of Conservation inspires young people to get involved in the great outdoors and ignites a passion to become lifelong activists for the natural world.
     Two first-place winners will be selected for each grade bracket (kindergarten through third grade, fourth through sixth grade, seventh through ninth grade, and tenth through twelfth grade), one for illustrating the best freshwater fish species and one for the best saltwater fish species. All first-place winners will advance to the national competition to be judged for top prizes, including Best of Show. The deadline to enter is Feb. 28, so start designing today!
     To enter, students from Florida should submit their entry at Wildlife Forever – Florida Art, consisting of the following:
     An original piece of artwork featuring any fish including one or more of the following Florida native species from the same category: 
     Category 1 – Freshwater: largemouth bass, striped bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, channel catfish, Forida gar, chain pickerel, bowfin
     Category 2 – Saltwater: snook, redfish, spotted seatrout, flounder, tarpon, mahi-mahi, Spanish mackerel, hogfish, queen snapper, black grouper 
     A piece of creative writing, no longer than one page, about the chosen species (required for grades 4-12).

     A Florida State-Fish Art Contest entry form.

 


Chiefland’s MLK Community Love March
and celebration grows

MLK Chiefland 2023
Joyous participants walk and sing during the MLK Community Love March in Chiefland.

Story and Photos
By Charlene Calvillo © Jan. 22, 2023 at 5:12 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
The Chiefland Chapter of the Levy County Martin Luther King Jr. Committee hosted a parade, also known as a Community Love March, and a celebration in the park on Monday, Jan. 16 in Chiefland, during the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
Miss Junior May Day Queen Makayla Bell tosses candy to onlookers of the parade in Chiefland. 

2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
Guest speaker Minister Edward Nelson delivers a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. during the celebration of the late Baptist preacher and civil rights leader at a city park. Although Nelson currently resides in Tallahassee he grew up in Chiefland.

2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
This procession of people during the MLK parade in Chiefland carry a sign that reads, ‘Community Love March in the honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’ This event has become an annual celebration in Chiefland.

2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
Miss Teen May Day Queen Raechyl Albert waves to bystanders of the MLK parade.

2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
May Day Queen Alumni Carolyn Cohens-Gent rides on a vehicle. There will be a beautiful display of artwork by Carolyn Cohens-Gent, an author, artist and historian, covering the history of Chiefland, Levy County, and Florida and much, much more on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Tommy Usher Community Center in Chiefland. (See the Community Calendar on the Calendar Page for more information.)

2023 MLK Day In Chiefland Florida
A creatively painted vintage Volkswagen van rides in the parade. The flag above the VW is a peace sign. The word 'Imagine' on the front harkens to the song Imagine by musician John Lennon from his 1971 album of the same name. Part of the lyrics of the song note -- Imagine all the people; Livin' life in peace; You, You may say I'm a dreamer; But I'm not the only one; I hope someday you'll join us; And the world will be as one.' The late John Lennon, also a victim of an assassin's bullet, shared ideals like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that people can attain a higher level of humanity to show love to one another.

2023 MLK in Chiefland
Levy County Property Appraiser Jason Whistler and Alice Monyei take a moment to pose during the celebration at the park. They were among the many people present for the celebration. 

2023 MLK in Chiefland
Volunteers prepare food and beverages that were given to attendees of the celebration.


     Chiefland only started celebrating this holiday within the past few years. That celebration came from the efforts of a former pastor at First United Methodist Church of Chiefland, Pastor Alex Christian, as well as the late Chiefland Mayor Betty Walker and other community leaders.
     It continues in 2023, thanks to the work of the Chiefland Chapter of the Levy County Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, the Chiefland city government leaders as well as community leaders who recognize the need to honor the legacy of the late Dr. King.
     The parade began at noon and went from Chiefland High School southbound on U.S. Highway 19 ending at the Chiefland Depot Park.
     This year's parade had a few more participants than previous years -- including May Day queens. May Day is an annual event in Chiefland. To see an example of previous coverage, click HERE to see the archived May Day 2021 story and photos.
     After the parade, attendees were invited to the celebration and dedication at the park.
     Chiefland area residents worked hard to have a street in town renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Road. Ultimately Park Avenue was selected. Park Avenue east and west maintained its name while the avenue also was named as Martin Luther King Jr. Road.
     The city government and the Florida Department of Transportation brought a significant sign to come not existence to designate the throughway of Park Avenue as it crosses Main Street in downtown Chiefland to be seen as Martin Luther King Jr. Road.
     The Levy County government, which maintains Park Avenue for the city, provided three smaller signs along the 12 intersections to show Park Avenue is also known as Martin Luther King Jr. Road. The county chose to include the letters “aka” to show Park Avenue is “also known as” Martin Luther King Jr. Road.
     Attendees at the 2023 celebration in downtown Chiefland of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on that federal holiday, were provided with a free meal and beverage as part of the celebration.
     Special guest speaker Minister Edward Nelson delivered a message honoring Dr. King. DJ Alphonso Kerney entertained the crowd with music during the event.
    The love march and celebration all came to be this year from the leadership and organization of the Chiefland Chapter of the Levy County Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, in partnership and with cooperation from the Chiefland City Commission, Pastor Nelson, DJ Kerney, and many other people.
     As anticipated, a good time was had by all as the community showed honor and respect to the legacy of the late Dr. King.

 


18th Annual MLK Parade
rolls through Cross City

MLK In Cross City
Before the big celebration, the host city assured that the event could happen in a safe environment. Seen here are three of the many people who worked to achieve that goal. They are (from left) Cross City Police Lt. Gary Hill, City Superintendent. Joseph Henderson and Matt Beckham of the Cross City Public Works Department. They are standing behind yellow tape and some barricades that closed off one side of the street in front of the Dixie County Courthouse in Cross City. The other side of the street was closed to through traffic, too, during the program on Monday (Jan. 16)

Story and Photos 
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:12 p.m.
     CROSS CITY –
The COVID-19 global pandemic caused interruptions in annual events, and it took a significant toll on human lives in the Tri-County Area of Dixie County, Gilchrist County and Levy County.


2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Dotti Leichner, 67, carries a sound mixer and a boom box as part of the equipment used by her husband Bob Leichner, 70, as the sound system for the program after the parade. Bob has been providing an excellent public address system for the annual programs ever since the second year of it being held on the courthouse steps.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Bob Leichner connects a sound mixer before the program to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan. 15, 1929-April 4, 1968). The program came after the parade, and he was among the speakers. (That is a separate longer story with photos, planned for the Life Page.)

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Paul Bennett, the former inaugural principal of the current Dixie County High School and the current director of facilities for the Dixie County School District, stand near a deep frying machine that will be heated to the point of boiling oil. Bennett and others will cook breaded mullet filets. That delicious fried fish is part of the free meals donated to anyone who wants them. Dixie County Superintendent of Schools Mike Thomas, and School Board members Timothy Alexander Cheryl Pridgeon, Amanda NesSmith, Paul Gainey, Timothy Alexander and Lucas Rollison donated everything to bring those free meals to fruition.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
The flounder filets are breaded in cornmeal.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Edgar Diaz (left) and Carlos Nieto are partners in ASB Financial of Ocala. They are the first vendors on the scene on Jan. 16. American Senior Benefits is where the ‘ASB’ comes from. Nieto is a comprehensive retirement specialist. Behind them, a food truck from K’s Soul Bowls & Catering of Gainesville is preparing to be ready to serve people at the big celebration in Cross City.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
A twin-engine airplane taking off from Cross City Airport is seen overhead just before the parade reaches downtown. At the same time, very much higher and faster, a jet leaves twin contrails. Contrails are comprised of water vapor caused by the interaction between jet engines and the atmosphere.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Buck Payne a volunteer with the DCSO Citizens On Patrol is seen during one of the few seconds he had when he was not directing traffic on the parade route near City Hall and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Cross City on Jan. 16.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Walking behind two law enforcement vehicles that led the parade, an American flag bearer leads the Dixie County High School Red Regiment Marching Band. Here they are on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Cross City on Jan. 16 as they pass Ameris Bank and other structures.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
The Dixie County High School Red Regiment Marching Band turns to the right off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Cross City on Jan. 16. The drummers and flag corps are out of this picture.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
One of the honorees in the parade is seen here in a red, white and blue float with American flags.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Some of the royalty ride in the parade.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Cross City On the Move! Making Things Happen continues to be a moving force for positive actions, and it had a truck in the parade.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Charlie Heidelburg, the most recently elected City Council member for Cross City rides in the parade and waves to the crowd. He is focused on the future, and grateful for support from the voters who chose him. He is riding on the back of a truck with a sign from Saint Philips Lodge 897, Modern Free and Accepted Masons of the World; Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry of Chiefland.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Let Freedom Ring is the message on this float.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Don’t Let Drugs Steal Your Dream is the message on this unit in the parade, which is sponsored by the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
These children are riding on a float decorated to honor the memory of Felita Carter, one of the founders of this annual parade in Cross City.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Little Miss Beauty Tiffany Teague is seen as she is assisted while riding on a vehicle in the parade.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
A wreath on a vehicle is a reminder of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Jan. 15, 1929-April 4, 1968). A separate story about the celebration on Jan. 16 next to the Dixie County Courthouse will include coverage of the event after this parade.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Dixie County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason VanZile rides at the end of the parade to help keep traffic from causing issues. Part of the route through Cross City included travel on U.S. Highway 19, which is a challenge for any parade in Florida.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Among the DCSO Citizens On Patrol helping with traffic control this year is John Nelson, seen here at the end of the parade in a pickup truck.

2023 MLK Parade In Cross City Florida
Having completed their mission, members of the Dixie County High School Red Regiment Marching Band return single-file to be transported to DCHS for post-parade purposes.


     For all intents and purposes, though, the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Cross City can be counted as the 18th annual parade – despite any interruption from a global pandemic.
     This parade is from a tradition that started thanks to the late Felita Carter, Teva Tyson and Willmonteen T. Smith and others decades ago.
     Carter, Tyson and Smith actually started this annual celebration in Dixie County – more than 36 years ago.
     The parade on Jan. 16 during Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2023 included many of the same key elements of years past. This year, Angela Carter, a member of the City Council of Cross City, organized the parade, which led into a significant celebration at the Dixie County Courthouse steps and the older parking lot across the street (adjacent to the Dixie County Supervisor of Elections’ Office).
     Elsie Carter is the champion who led the post-parade celebration, including having former Cross City Vice Mayor Jovanté Teague as the emcee, and much more. The story and photos are being completed. They will be separate from this parade story and photos.

 


FWC to beachgoers:
Share the beach with shorebirds this winter 
Beach Birds

Story and Photo Provided
By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Published Dec. 16, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
This winter season, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds beachgoers how to help protect vulnerable resident and migratory shorebirds and seabirds while enjoying Florida’s coastal habitats.
     Each winter, Florida’s resident shorebirds and seabirds are joined by both human and avian snowbirds coming to our state’s shorelines from colder climates. Both resident and migratory shorebirds rely on Florida’s sandy beaches for important habitat and resting spots. Whether you’re a fellow sunshine state resident or a visitor to our beaches this winter, you can have a big impact on conservation of coastal birds. Help shorebirds and seabirds along our coasts by following these simple shorebird-friendly tips:
     Do the flock walk. Instead of walking straight through, try walking around flocks of birds at the beach and stay out of posted areas. Getting too close to resting shorebirds, seabirds and wading birds can cause them to flush, disturbing birds that may need important rest from long migratory flights.  
     Look for Critical Wildlife Area closures. Be on the lookout for signs designating Critical Wildlife Areas on the beach or coastal islands – these areas are closed to public access to protect high concentrations of wading birds and shorebirds. Boaters and beachgoers can help birds by keeping their distance and noise volumes low near CWAs.
     Keep your pups at home. Even well-behaved dogs can frighten shorebirds, causing them to panic and expend valuable energy. If you bring your dog with you to the shore, go to a beach where they’re allowed and follow all leash laws.
     Resist the urge to feed the birds. Sharing snacks with birds at the beach may seem harmless or even helpful but it can be harmful to them and other wildlife. Shorebirds and seabirds are healthiest when eating the natural prey they normally forage for, such as small invertebrates in the sand and fish they’ve caught themselves from the water.
     Properly stash all trash. Trash and food scraps attract predators while litter on beaches and in the water can entangle birds, turtles and other wildlife. Beachgoers can help birds and other native wildlife by properly disposing of all trash, filling in man-made holes in the sand, and removing all personal gear from the beach before sunset. Fishing line can be deadly to waterbirds, sea turtles and other wildlife, so be sure to dispose of it properly. To find a monofilament recycling station near you, visit https://mrrp.myfwc.com/.

 


CF Webber Gallery presents
It’s Colored Pencil
exhibition Feb. 13 - March 9

Art
Serenity by Suzanne Marcil

Artwork and Story Provided
By Lisa McGinnes | College of Central Florida
Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
Published Dec. 12, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.
     OCALA -
- The College of Central Florida will present It’s Colored Pencil in partnership with the Colored Pencil Society of America.

     The exhibition will open Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, at the CF Webber Gallery and is sponsored by CPSA District Chapter 113 in Gainesville.
      “This exhibition will showcase fine artwork of all styles and subjects completed in colored pencil,” said Amanda Lyon, CF Webber Gallery coordinator. “Attendees may be surprised by the level of realism that colored pencil artists are able to achieve! While most people recall using colored pencils in grade school, they may not realize that artists who know how to use colored pencil are able to get intricate details of color blending and shading to create fine artworks that belong in a gallery space.”
     The It’s Colored Pencil exhibition will take place Feb. 13 through March 9. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, from 5-7 p.m.
     The Webber Gallery is located at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Admission is free.
     For more information, call 352-854-2322, ext. 1664.

 


International Film Series
returns to the College of Central Florida

By Lisa McGinnes, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
College of Central Florida
Published July 28, 2022 at 11:12 a.m.
Updated Oct. 16, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     OCALA —
Films from across the globe that center around themes of humor and perseverance will take center stage in this year’s Ira Holmes International Film Series at the College of Central Florida.

     A full season of in-person film events kicked off Sept. 13.
      “As the late, great Charlie Chaplin proclaimed, ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted,’” said series founder and CF Professor Ira Holmes. “We’re proud to announce that we’re back after two seasons of stream-from-home films, drive-in screenings and virtual film talks. We made it work during a difficult time for our community and our supporters. Now we’re ready to resume seeing movies together in an auditorium with the ability to share our thoughts and feelings. Laughter is therapy, and smiles are also acceptable! In the spirit of the much-loved film classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ we’re ready to ‘make ’em laugh.’”
     This year’s first film was “Wild Men.”
     All of the films are being shown at  the Appleton Museum at the Ocala campus of the College of Central Florida, as noted below.


Series Schedule
Jan. 31 – “Parasite”
Feb. 14 – Scary Movie Date Night: “Get Out”
     On Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m.
, Dr. Gilbert Rodman will lead a “Get Out” Black History Month film talk at the CF Ocala Campus in Building 8, Room 110. The talk also will be live on Zoom.
Feb. 28 – “Neptune Frost”
March 14 – “La Ciénaga”

     All films will be shown Tuesdays at 2 p.m. at the Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, and at 7 p.m. at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road, Building 8, Room 110, unless otherwise noted. Films at the Ocala Campus are free and open to the public. Films at the Appleton are free to all museum and film series members; nonmembers pay museum admission. Films may contain mature content.
     For more details, visit https://www.cf.edu/student-life/arts-and-culture/international-film-series/.

 


 

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