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Chiefland students honored
Chiefland Rotary Club President Paige Brookins starts the program to recognize Students of the Month in Chiefland.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 10, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
CHIEFLAND – President Paige Brookins of the Rotary Club of Chiefland presented certificates Monday evening (Dec. 9) to two students in recognition of their work.
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Kyndal Miller, a second grade student at Chiefland Elementary School, was the first to be called forward for recognition.
CES Teacher Sherry McElroy nominated the student who is the daughter of Rosylin Tomberlin and Kevin Miller.
“The character trait for this month’s Student of the Month award is kindness,” Brookins said as she read McElroy’s comments. Kyndal models this quality every day. She comes in each morning with a big smile on her face and ready to learn!”
This second grader always is willing to help classmates by giving them a pencil or helping them with their work, McElroy noted and Brookins said.
“Her sunny disposition has a way of rubbing off on other around her,” McElroy noted and Brookins said. “She is a very sweet little girl with a positive attitude. I love having Kyndal in my class!”
When Brookins asked the little girl if she had anything to add or to say about the her class or about Chiefland Elementary School, she said, “I have a lot of friends.”
The next student recognized was Kaitlyn Rickner, an 11th grader who is the daughter of Sharon Rickner. She was nominated by the Chiefland High School teachers.
Kaithlyn was noted to be an outstanding student in class, who always tries her best, as well as being polite and friendly. It was noted that “She is eager to learn and participates in class discussions.”
When Brookins asked her what her goals are after high school, Rickner said she planned to become a veterinarian.
Both of the outstanding students also went home with a $20 Walmart gift certificate that was awarded to them by the Rotary Club of Chiefland.
Providing photo opportunities for the press and parents, are (from left) Kyndal Miller, Paige Brookins and Kaitlyn Rickner. On the background (from left) are Chiefland Mayor Chris Jones, City Commissioner Lewriss Mainwaring and City Manager Mary Ellzey.
CFEC Helps Haven
Central Florida Electric Cooperative employees raised $3,735 for Haven during the CFEC Annual Cake Auction this year. Seen here are (standing, from left) Vondla Sullivan of Haven Hospice, Alison Deloach, George Buckner, Tim Reidy and Madi Redd, and (seated, from left) Kathy Baker, Connie Ward, Kayla Cooper and Karen Mowrey. The employees conducted the fundraiser to help Haven as part of the Cooperative Family Fish-Fry held at the facility in Chiefland on Nov. 7. Haven was once known as Haven Hospice, but it changed the name to Haven.
Published Dec. 10, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
Information and Photo Provided By CFEC Communications Specialist Madison Redd
GED grad set to start CF
Three of the four GED graduates who earned honors in the most recent graduating class from the College of Central Florida’s Levy County campus are seen here. Standing at left is Shelby Eastman, the keynote speaker for the event Thursday night. Standing on the right is Roselyn Pelaez and in the front is Emilee Loy. Honor Graduate Rosalee Brown did not attend the ceremony.
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 6, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.
All Copyrights Reserved
Not to be duplicated or copied to any other media
LEVY COUNTY – At least two people who graduated with a high school Graduation Equivalent Diploma on Thursday evening (Dec. 5) are continuing their education at the College of Central Florida’s Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) campus, CF Levy Campus Manager of Instruction Leah Gamble said.
The 10 graduates attending the program Thursday night seen here are Clarissa Brown, Michael Dye, Shelby Eastman, Emilee Loy, Roselyn Pelaez, Devin Smith, Victoria Spearin, Mackenzie Story, Jessica Watson and Emily White.
CF Levy Campus Manager of Instruction Leah Gamble welcomes people to the ceremony to honor GED graduates.
Transition Specialist and Instructor Kimberly Cooper speaks at the podium as adult education instructors Paul Hord (left) and Bob Gentzel look on.
Shelby Eastman, the keynote speaker for the evening, delivers her speech at the podium as Transition Specialist and Instructor Kimberly Cooper stand next to her and Enrollment – Student Services Coordinator Christine Dunn (seated and wearing gray) and CF Levy Campus Manager of Instruction Leah Gamble (seated and wearing red) listen.
Shelby Eastman delivers her inspirational speech.
The graduates are seen before moving their tassel.
The graduates are seen before moving their tassel.
In this video, which is two clips, the graduates enter the auditorium with tassels on one side and then they exit with their tassels on the other side, signifying their completion of the graduation ceremony. Afterward, each graduate presented a carnation to the person who helped them the most through this educational process. Photo opportunities and refreshments were available after the ceremony as well.
Shelby Eastman, the keynote speaker for the event Thursday night, clearly is one of those GED grads accepted for continuing her education at CF.
Fourteen graduates were listed in the program that night, and 10 of them attended the ceremony, where they accepted their State of Florida high school diploma.
Manager of Instruction Gamble served as the emcee for the night. She welcomed graduating students, their families and friends.
The CF Adult Education Team at the Jack Wilkinson Campus made possible the successful graduation of most of these students, Gamble said as she recognized those educators.
The team includes Enrollment – Student Services Coordinator Christine Dunn, Transition Specialist – Instructor Kimberly Cooper, and adult education instructors Bob Gentzel and Paul Hord.
Gamble’s introduction for the night let the audience members know that most of the graduates in this program did not have pleasant experiences with their first round of public education.
This is one of the many reasons, she said, that their decision to restart the learning process is so important. Gamble noted she is proud of all of the graduates who have family and friends that helped them reach this milestone.
And as has been the custom in previous CF GED ceremonies, the graduates were each provided with a carnation to present to the person whom they felt helped them the most to attain this goal.
Transition Specialist – Instructor Cooper introduced Eastman.
The 19-year-old Eastman is from Old Town, Cooper said. This graduate has a goal of continuing her education through college and then to become a teacher, where she intends to actively be a positive influence in students’ lives, Cooper said of Eastman.
As she opened her speech, Eastman congratulated her fellow classmates on their successful completion of study to earn a GED. She mentioned that each individual has his or her own story in this regard.
No matter what adversity anyone faced, each person celebrates now with having mastered the tasks set before them, she said.
Rather than what she had experienced in high school, Eastman said she found a safe and nurturing environment for learning and growth via the CF Adult Education program.
Eastman’s classmates treated her with respect and her teachers reinforced her success, she said, to the extent that it was as if she had just earned the Noble Prize. Whenever a student did not accomplish a goal, they were gently urged to try again as well as receiving guidance and instruction to help them in that regard, Eastman said.
Eastman said she begins her CF classes in January. After she completes coursework to be certified as a teacher, Eastman said her hope is that she can bring the same level of positivity and enthusiasm to her future classroom as a teacher, as she had experienced via this recently-completed curriculum.
If she can mirror the undying support and care shown to all of the CF GED students by Dunn, Cooper, Gentzel and Hord, Eastman said, then she will be able to accomplish anything with students in her classes after she becomes a teacher.
“No matter the path that any of us choose to take,” Eastman said to her classmates, “I know the lessons that we have learned by these role models will carry us forward into a life of fulfillment, and give us the strength to accomplish anything we set our mind to.”
Eastman thanked the College of Central Florida for providing her and her classmates with this opportunity to succeed. She thanked Hord for helping her see sentences she wrote were run-on sentences. She expressed her gratitude to other members of the Adult Education Team for specific actions they took to assure success.
“Thank you to all of my classmates,” Eastman said, “for making this an experience that was fun and exciting. Congratulations to the Class of 2019!”
City approves land donation
for public library expansion;
Major residential subdivision
preliminary plan moves forward
Luther Beauchamp speaks to the Chiefland City Commission
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 29, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
CHIEFLAND – The Chiefland City Commission on Monday night (Nov. 25) accepted the donation of two vacant lots adjacent and to the west of the Luther Callaway Public Library for the potential expansion of the library.
The Chiefland City Commission currently is comprised of (from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones, Commissioner Lewrissa Mainwaring and Commissioner Norman Weaver. Seen here, they are about to begin the meeting on Monday evening.
In another unanimous action by the City Commission that evening, the five Chiefland City Commissioners – Mayor Chris Jones, Vice Mayor Tim West, and commissioners Rollin Hudson, Lewrissa Mainwaring and Norman Weaver – approved the preliminary plat subdivision on 42 acres of land for 76 lots.
As for the library expansion, R. Luther Beauchamp noted in a Nov. 6 letter the intent to donate the lots, which are owned by The Otis and Macey Beauchamp Family Trust, of which Luther Beauchamp, a retired attorney, is a trustee.
The other beneficiaries to the trust are his sisters Ovieda Bishop, Frances Parnell and Susan Billings. All four individuals in that trust, Beauchamp noted, agree to offer the property as a gift to the City of Chiefland to help the library named after Luther Callaway to expand.
Luther Beauchamp noted the donated land is to be used for the annex, or as some other municipal government building, and that it must be used for that or as another municipal building, and that it shall prominently display the names of “W.O. Beauchamp Sr.,” his wife “Macey Callaway Beauchamp” and “Luther L. Callaway.”
After the approval, City Manager Mary Ellzey said that she and Planning Project Coordinator Belinda Wilkerson are seeking a grant to fund the construction for the library expansion.
The existing library, which is one of five municipal libraries in the Levy County Public Library System, is named in honor of Luther L. Callaway (March 23, 1878-Feb. 4, 1963). It was dedicated on March 23, 1985, which would have been his 107th birthday.
Luther Callaway served as postmaster for the United States Post Office at Chiefland from 1920 to 1923 and from 1926 until his retirement in 1948. He also served as a math and science teacher, at times having two jobs – postmaster and teacher.
The land where the current library sits was donated by W.O. Beauchamp Sr. and Macey Callaway Beauchamp.
R. Luther Beauchamp, who is better known by his middle name, and his sisters are the children of W.O. Beauchamp Jr. and Macey Callaway Beauchamp. Luther Beauchamp’s mother is the daughter of Luther Callaway.
He mentioned that that the land donors anticipate the city will, seek funds by grant or otherwise, to build a structure for expansion of the Luther Callaway Public Library in Chiefland.
It was on a motion by Hudson, seconded by West that the 5-0 vote resulted in the city accepting the land for the purpose stated.
Like his namesake (Luther Callaway), Luther Beauchamp is a jokester, often using wordplay in his humor. He has published a couple of books with clever narratives. Luther Beauchamp also provides entertainment as a guest speaker to non-profit organizations.
As for the potential future residential subdivision development, the Chiefland City Commission waived requirements for curbs, gutters and sidewalks, as well as a 100-foot setback requirement for the Oak Ridge Subdivision.
John Infinger is the owner of the property that is to be developed adjacent to Strickland Park on its west side. The City Commission will have an opportunity to approve or reject a final plat for the subdivision.
In regard to another Chiefland matter with which the City Commission dealt on Nov 25, the municipal leaders gave City Attorney Norm Fugate authority to draft a new noise-control ordinance.
The existing ordinance in Chiefland needs improvement Mayor Jones intimated, because the Chiefland Police Department is receiving calls about noisy “block parties” which are including people using vehicles with loud sound systems. The noisy partiers are not showing consideration for neighbors who may need to go to sleep so that they can work, according to what was said Monday night.
CPD Chief Scott Anderson said the city will need to purchase a noise-measuring device for each of the department’s patrol units, because the idea that one decibel meter is going to be enough is not a sound idea.
The chief said some people may think the device could be left at the station and then a patrol officer, or a person of higher rank would get the device to respond to a noise complaint. However, what probably would occur is an officer would use the meter and then leave it in his or her vehicle, and perhaps be off duty when a call came in to respond to another noise complaint.
Attorney Fugate said he intend to return with a revised ordinance modeled after the one adopted by the City of Williston, which was created after a time when a landmark case in Florida helped preserve the people’s right to be free from government oppression as far as making noise to a certain level.
Seafood festival grows;
Legacies are formed
Brett Mueller and Jennell Mueller are among the people cooking and selling at OMG! Pretzel Bites.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 26, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
YANKEETOWN -- The 38th Annual Yankeetown Seafood, Art and Crafts Festival on Sunday (Nov. 24) heralded the second day of that two-day festival this year, and the event has grown.
There was even a portable ATM available for use again this year.
This annual two-day festival is a fundraiser for the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club.
Meanwhile, legacies continue building there and beyond.
“Take me down to Yankeetown -- where the seafood and artists surely abound,” one seafood, art and crafts lover sang as he guided a vehicle west on Levy County Road 40 through Inglis that Sunday.
Scores and scores of people converged on Yankeetown -- one of the southwestern municipalities in Levy County on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 23 and 24), as the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club hosted its 38th Annual Yankeetown Art, Craft & Seafood Festival.
As always, there was a complete assortment of seafood.
Lobster rolls, lobster bisque, shrimp, coconut shrimp on a stick, Cajun gator on a stick, lobster quesadilla, fish, clam chowder, clams, oysters, softshell crab, calamari, frog legs and other seafood items were easily found.
The range of different kinds of food beyond the treats from oceans, rivers and lakes was awesome. Hotdogs, corndogs, hamburgers, French fries, deep-fried Oreos, funnel cake, beef jerky, gyros, pretzel bites and many other delectable treats were there to be bought.
For people who have visited the mall of old in Crystal River years ago, those delicious pretzel bites have gone mobile.
The name on this food vehicle is “OMG! Pretzel Bites.”
Brett Mueller and Jennell Mueller are among the people who were cooking and selling bites there on Sunday.
His father, the late John Siegel, who passed away in 2018, used to serve Working Cow ice cream, as well as these amazing pretzels in the mall years ago.
Now Mueller takes the treats on the road. And so, this legacy continues.
James Fink holds a pack of Levi’s Smoked Jerky. This particular flavor is Sizzling St. Petersburg.
Another legacy-making entrepreneur of the many that lined Riverside Drive on Sunday is James Fink, 42 of Port Richey (Pasco County).
His company is Levi’s Smoked Jerky. He named the company after his daughter Levi Fink, who is turning 6 years old soon.
“It’s just like Dave Thomas did,” Fink said, making reference to Wendy’s Hamburgers being named after Thomas’ daughter.
His smoked jerky is said to be “Florida’s Best” and “Always Fresh.”
The packets of jerky are named after Florida cities – Sizzling St. Petersburg; Straight Up St. Augustine; Sweet Sarasota; Original Oldsmar; and Hot Homosassa. On the back of each packet are fun facts about the various cities.
One of several outlets to buy lemonade at the festival is seen here, next to one of the many places to purchase shrimp.
This photo shows coconut shrimp (Left) next to Cajun gator bites on a stick (center) and French fries. This is from the vendor – Bite Me Baby, out of Pennsylvania.
Shrimp can be seen close-up from some vendors.
The Florida Forest Service had people available to speak about one of the state’s great natural resources – trees.
Amanda Sheehy (left) of the University of Florida’s School of Veterinarian Sciences staff holds a dolphin’s skull as UF sophomore Hannah Henry of Orlando joins her. The young ladies were teaching the general public about marine creatures as well as speaking about the university’s program to help stranded marine animals.
This set of art for sale was among the first place winners at the festival this year.
This performing artist played an acoustic guitar and sang for tips, which could be placed or thrown in his open guitar carrying case.
Original oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, sculptures in clay and other mediums were inviting to patrons of the arts.
Crafts from many mediums were shown and sold.
Woodworking forms covered a complete gambit from handmade furniture, through small wooden signs and driftwood crafted into art.
There were leather purses, leather belts and other forms of leather-based crafts.
An assortment of glass crafts invited people to buy things to bring home.
The range of jewelry formats of crafts was relatively extensive as well.
Victor Heath, 68, of Fanning Springs was at the festival – selling his handmade knives.
(from left) Friends of the A.F. Knotts Public Library Treasurer Lisa Crawley, Secretary Corbe Feeney, Vice President Dianne Fineout and shoppers Angela Lopez and Joe Lopez of Citrus County are seen here.
The Annual Fall Book Sale by the Friends of the A.F. Knotts Public Library was another fun attraction for shoppers.
The Friends of the A.F. Knotts Public Library were located on the north side of Riverside Drive between 61st and 62nd Streets during the festival.
A wide selection of bound books, paperbacks, audio books, VHS tapes and DVDs were available.
In addition to the Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, there were other charitable causes.
Of course, there were the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club members and guests.
As noted, there were the Friends of the A.F. Knotts Public Library.
The Inglis-Yankeetown Woman’s Club was active at the clubhouse and at its thrift shop.
And there were a number of other non-profit groups present. A couple of the organizations have “friends” in the name, and this festival included a lot of friendly people. A good time was had by all.
CKS Ag Studies Shine
This week, the Cedar Key Aquaculture Class began its stormdrain awareness campaign. This school year, the class repainted the drains and will be cleaning and maintaining the drawings weekly. So far in the data collection, only two pieces of trash were found in the drains (cigarette butts) and three of the drains had yard debris.
The middle school class has been learning about livestock for the past two weeks. Today (Thursday, Nov. 21) in class, they got to make ice cream after the hands-on lesson about giving medication to livestock. The class had to portion out probiotics for the goats and do the mathematical conversions from cattle-size doses to goat-sized doses.
Published Nov. 22, 2019 at 9:09 p.m.
Information and Photos Provided By CKS Agricultural Sciences Teacher Rachel Wetherington
helps Cedar Key School
The Trinity River Band prepares to start their concert at Cedar Key School Auditorium on Friday night (Nov. 16). Seen her (from left) they are Mike Harris, Sarah Harris-Hall, Brianna Harris, Lisa Harris and Joshua Harris.
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 17, 2019 at 5:09 p.m.
CEDAR KEY -- Jim and Marci Wilcox again helped music education and Cedar Key School when they brought Trinity River Band to not only perform a fundraising concert for CKS, but the band performed for students.
In this video, the Trinity River Band performs its original song Heartstrings, which is also the name of one of the band’s albums. The band agreed to allow HardisonInk.com to republish their song here for the world to hear.
Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Copyrights Reserved
CKS students on Friday (Nov. 16) learned about bluegrass and heard from the multiple award-winning band that is grounded in Christian love and in family unity.
The Wilcox couple have successfully invited other professional musicians to benefit CKS in the past as well.
Jim Wilcox spoke to the audience before the concert, and mentioned that he is happy to see the band interacting with the students and to keep bluegrass music alive in the minds of the next generation.
As he opened the concert, Wilcox mentioned Trinity River Band is a family band and that he enjoys seeing the love between them as they perform music.
He said they are “super musicians” and “downright nice people, too.”
The Trinity River Band opened with the Eagle’s song Seven Bridges Road (Home Free).
They performed many original pieces, including the fourth song that night Heartstrings.
They performed two sets with several songs. An intermission between the sets gave audience members a chance to visit the concession stand and help other CKS interests.
This Florida-based, nationally touring, award-winning family band provided a delightful bluegrass concert to listeners Friday night (Nov. 15).
Between the third and fourth song, Sarah Harris-Hall introduced the other band members, starting with her brother Joshua Harris.
Joshua can play banjo, guitar, bass, slide guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer and other instruments, Sarah said. He also provides vocals. He also serves as the sound man for the band,
Brianna Harris, who plays fiddle and provides vocals, is 17 years old, her sister said. She has been the fiddle player for the band since she was 11 years old.
Lisa Harris, the three siblings’ mother, is a former schoolteacher who now plays bass. During the introduction of her mother, Sarah Harris-Hall let the audience know that the band performs full-time as musicians, traveling all over.
“We love that,” she said. “We get to do music together as a family.”
Performing with her family is “the cherry on top” of the dessert of being able to perform music for a living.
“We are so blessed to have her as our mom,” Sarah said. “That is her most important, and the toughest job…”
Lisa Harris, mother-extraordinaire, keeps the family together and organized, as well as keeping the music together by being the bass-playing mamma who keeps the beat, Sarah said.
The siblings’ father Mike Harris is the one who got the band together, Sarah said.
“We grew up listening to our parents sing and play together,” Sarah said. “So, some say we came by it (musical talent) naturally. We believe God had a plan, even back then. When our parents met, they played music together and sang together.”
Her father started Sarah playing guitar, she said, when she was 12. He started each of the band members on their instruments, she said.
Joshua Harris introduced Sarah, who plays mandolin. He let the audience know she is the oldest of the three. He mentioned she got married and added a different last name.
“As you can tell,” Joshua said of Sarah, “she’s been blessed with an amazing voice and instrumental talent as well. “
Sarah then introduced her grandmother Joyce Harris, who was sitting at the back of the auditorium. She noted her grandmother takes care of business as the chief executive officer.
Joyce Harris, Mike Harris' mother and grandmother of the three siblings, listens to the concert in Cedar Key on Friday night (Nov. 16).
When Mike Harris performed the fifth song, he said he was inspired to write it from his interaction with his late father Raymond Harris, the siblings’ paternal grandfather.
The crowd in the auditorium was a bit smaller than had been anticipated. Apparently, there was another event on the island that night. Nevertheless, Mike let everyone know the band likes performing for small audiences even more because it is an intimate setting, in contrast with bigger audiences.
A good time was had by all, and the people who were able to attend enjoyed being among the select that evening.
After the concert in Cedar Key, the tour schedule shows the band then went t0 Lakewood United Methodist Church in Jacksonville on Sunday, Nov. 17, and onward from there to Cathead Creek Cowboy Church in Townsend, Georgia, on Nov. 24.
From there, the tour returns to Jacksonville, and then on to Winter Haven, Englewood, Plant City, and on to other Florida cities, and places in Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia through March 28, 2020, where the short version of the long tour shows the band in Glen Allen, Virginia, on that day in late March of next year.
Cedar Key Lions offer
to Levy County preschoolers
Cedar Key Lions Judy Duvall, Becky LaFountain and Susan Rosenthal prepare equipment for vision screenings. (Not pictured
Information and Photos
Provided By CK Lion Donna Bushnell
Published Nov. 16, 2019 at
LEVY COUNTY -- Cedar Key Lions Club members are conducting vision screenings for preschoolers (whose parents provide permission) in Levy County public and private schools through the Florida Kidsight Foundation program.
A special handheld camera is used to screen the children’s eyes. If the camera detects a possible vision problem related to amblyopia (lazy eye), then results are referred for further evaluation by a Kidsight Ophthalmologist. Cedar Key Lions Club may also offer financial help to families if glasses or further eye care is necessary.
Copeland Spina, a student at Chiefland Elementary School, demonstrates the vision screening process with Becky LaFountain and Judy Duvall.
thrives at flea market
Debbie Philmon stands on the side of her area with the vegetables. This fruit and vegetable stand is located in the Chiefland Farmer’s Flea Market in the covered area on the southeast side of the market, near the office.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
CHIEFLAND -- Debbie Philmon, 55, of Old Town has opened Debbie's Veggies at the Chiefland Farmer's Flea Market, 1206 N. Young Blvd. (U.S. Highway 19).
Debbie Philmon holds a relatively big carrot that was grown in Canada. Earlier this month, she had huge carrots from Canada and she anticipates having them again soon. Here she is on the side of the area with fruits.
Debbie’s Veggies is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the fruit and vegetable area offers a wide variety of high-quality produce.
It is closed Mondays.
After being open there for a month now, Philmon said she is very happy and everything is going great.
Bananas on Thursday (Nov. 14) were selling for 49-cents a pound. Purple grapes on Thursday were selling for $1.89 a pound. Honey Murcock (they look like small tangerines) were selling eight for a dollar.
She is expecting to have Sugar Bee Apples starting on Dec. 15, she said.
Among the many fruits and vegetable available Thursday were apples, baking potatoes, bananas, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, carrots, corn on the cob, cucumbers, garlic, green onions, jalapeno peppers, lettuce, Mississippi sweet potatoes, onions, parsnips, pears, plums, pomegranate, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, and zucchini.
And there is even more in that “A” to “Z” list of apples to zucchini.
And despite having a flurry of business and customers, Philmon paid person attention to each person and shared jokes and socialized while selling her fresh fruits and vegetables.
Mayor Emeritus Honored
Williston Mayor Emeritus R. Gerald Hethcoat was honored with a proclamation by current Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson at the Tuesday night (Nov. 5) meeting. Seen here, are Mayor Emeritus Hethcoat and his wife. The Community Room in Williston City Hall has been named the R. Gerald Hethcoat Community Room. The proclamation notes Hethcoat and his family moved to this city in 1973. He served for 43 years as 'a wonderful Ambassador for the City of Williston. The proclamation notes Hethcoat was fire chief for four years, served on City Council for 21 years and served as mayor for 17 years. He is the mayor who instituted the Student of the Month program, as well as many other positive things for the benefit of the residents and visitors of Williston. Because of Mayor Emeritus Hethcoat’s patriotic, dedicated, faithful and loyal service in the performance of his duties, the Williston City Hall Community Center is renamed the R. Gerald Hethcoat Community Center.
Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 7, 2019 at 8:29 p.m.
CF among top 15 percent
of colleges in nation, eligible
for $1 million Aspen prize
By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published Nov. 6, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
OCALA — The College of Central Florida has been selected as one of the top 15 percent of colleges in the country to be eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The Aspen Prize is based on performance in student outcomes, including graduation rates, improvement in student success and equitable student success.
In each two-year cycle, a jury of national experts selects 10 finalist institutions, and, ultimately, one winner of the prestigious award. CF was also recognized and deemed eligible for the $1 million prize in 2011, 2013 and 2017.
“Recognition by the Aspen Institute demonstrates that CF faculty and staff are delivering exceptional education opportunities for our community,” said Dr. James Henningsen, CF president. “We are looking forward to providing the additional documentation to show that we are one of the best colleges in the nation.”
The Aspen Prize has brought a new level of public attention to community colleges, defined comprehensive measures of excellence in outcomes for community college students, and uncovered and disseminated practices that help exceptional colleges ensure great outcomes for their students. The 150 community colleges named were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.
Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates, and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges.
“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students —through graduation and beyond.”
The top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.
Previous winners of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence are: Miami Dade College and Indian River State College, 2019; Lake Area Technical College (South Dakota), 2017; Santa Fe College, 2015; Santa Barbara City College (California) and Walla Walla Community College (Washington), 2013; Valencia College, 2011.
For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, click HERE.
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by ECMC Foundation, Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Siemens Foundation.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses.
The Aspen Institute is a community-serving organization with global reach whose vision is a free, just and equitable society.
For 70 years, the Institute has driven change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the world’s greatest challenges. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado, and New York City, and an international network of partners.
Swiftmud awards grants
to schools in Levy County and
other counties for
water resources education
By Susanna Martinez Tarokh
Public Information Officer
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Published Nov. 6, 2019 at 7:49 a.m.
BROOKSVILLE -- The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) awarded $119,000 in grants to 65 schools within the District as part of the Splash! school grant program.
The program provides up to $3,000 per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources in grades K-12.
Splash! grants encourage hands-on student learning through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities as well as engagement of the greater school community through awareness campaigns. Each school district allocates a portion of their annual youth education funding provided by the District to support the Splash! grants in their county.
The District awarded grants to the following schools/teachers in its northern region:
● Williston Elementary School - Sarah Freeman
● Brooksville Elementary - Rachel Vascellaro
● Bushnell Elementary - Tiffany Ward
● Crystal River Middle School - Julie Bolton, Mary Branch and Maurisa Applegate
● Dunnellon Elementary - Nancy Garvin and Mary Blanchette
● Gulf Coast Academy - Joseph Gatti
● Hernando Elementary School - Danita Consol
● Lake Panasoffkee Elementary - Brittny Sanders
● Lecanto High School - Meg Richardson
● South Sumter Middle School - Michelle Alberto
● South Sumter High School - Thomas Allison
● Sparr Elementary - Rachel Keene
Grants are available for freshwater resources field studies, water-conserving garden projects, community or school awareness campaigns and on-site workshops. Last year’s Splash! grants brought water resources education to nearly 10,487 students throughout the District. For more information, please visit the District’s website by clicking HERE.
On Feb. 1, 2011, HardisonInk.com came to exist on the Internet. On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com started, which was about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially began Feb. 1, 2011. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, when and where a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption by the man about that journalist was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And the the journalist said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past years. There were two days in 2018 when the daily devotional did not run due to a journalist requiring emergency orthopedic surgery on broken bones in his left arm and wrist. That surgically added metal, though, makes that part of that arm even more able to withstand forces. Many daily devotionals are pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). I note my appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company. I welcome contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to email@example.com.
Dec. 12, 2019 Thursday at 8:09 a.m.
THE OPEN DOOR
Read Revelation 3:7–13
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
-- Revelation 3:8 (KJV)
There is nothing more stirring and pleasant than to feel that life has good things ahead. On the other hand, there is nothing more depressing, more unnerving, than to feel that life holds nothing in store for you. “Is life over for me?” was the question that one who had grown weary by the way asked of a friend and counselor. The answer is found in that immortal promise to the church at Philadelphia, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door.” Life is never over for those who follow Jesus.
This is grandly true of you. You have the incomparable chance of youth; you have the opportunity to learn life’s great purposes, to learn how to do good. The door is wide open now. Five years from now it will be a little less wide open. In middle life it will be half shut. A little later it will be three-quarters shut, and then, at length, so far as the opportunity to be good and do good in this world, the door will be closed. Therefore, enter it now. “Work, . . . for the night cometh.”
But this is a promise of opportunity which speaks not only to youth, but to those in every period of life. It has a great meaning for those who are conscious of past mistakes and omissions. Even the most thoughtful and careful will recall doors which they passed by, opportunities to speak for God and the truth, to warn someone in peril, to encourage and help a troubled soul. But God opens another door. He gives us another chance.
LORD, we thank Thee for the open door, for the second chance. We know that Thy Spirit will not always strive with us, but that so long as there is a spark of yearning in our hearts for Thee, or one chance of winning us from sin, Thou wilt keep the door of repentance open to us. Make us, then, eager to accept the second chance, to begin the new life in Thee. Amen.
Clarence Edward Noble Macartney (Sept. 18, 1879 – Feb. 20, 1957)
First Presbyterian Church
Strength for Service to God and Country
(Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers)
Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Dec. 9, 2019 at 8:29 a.m.
My deer season has not been anything to write home about. One buck in Kentucky that never gave me a chance to draw on, and one buck in Missouri that I shot and never found, is all I can tell you about. But if you don’t know, the best season is coming up. (It’s the second rut. Don’t tell anybody.) Yes, the second rut! Maybe the best deer-hunting secret I know. I can remember a friend telling me about this several years ago. I thought he was crazy and was just telling me this for conversation purposes. But year after year, he showed me the proof. I still wasn’t convinced until I began seeing the biggest deer cruising my property during the second and third week of December. I knew then, he was right. Here’s why it’s the best. Each doe comes in heat during the second or third week of November in most parts of the country. If that doe is not bred during those days, she will come back in heat 30 days later. Since those unbred doe are so few, the bucks are cruising everywhere to find them and take advantage of a second chance. A buck I may never see during any other time of the season, may just show up during those two weeks. So, my season is not over yet! I’m still in the hunt! (pardon the pun)
In other areas of life, second chances are the most beneficial as well. It seems, whether we like it or not, we are less likely to make the same mistake twice. I’m not exactly sure why, except for the memory of past mistakes. They seem to linger a little longer. The sting of a bad decision seems to stay with us when most other emotions are gone. I think this is all the more reason to be thankful that God gives second chances. And it’s a great reason to thank God for his plan of salvation and for his plan of restoration. Both are based on grace. You see, grace is the unmerited and undeserved favor of God. And Grace is always initiated by the one who is giving grace.
This means, God can give chance after chance, because his favor is not conditional on our response. It’s conditional only on he’s ability and willingness to keep extending it. I think the problem many of us have is thinking that God thought he was making a perfect creation, and that he doesn’t know about our constant tendencies to mess up – time after time. He does, however, know. And he knows not only because he’s God, but he knows because he became man through the person of Jesus. It’s called the Incarnation, and it is why Christians celebrate Christmas. God became man to identify with our suffering and temptations – and to pay for our second chance – and as many more chances that he wants to give.
-- Gary Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Miller has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations.
Gary Miller's website is located at http://www.outdoortruths.org/.