Gary Miller's
Outdoor Truths Ministry,  July 6, 2020


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Funding for FGC STEM
project shows progress

By Stephen Culotti
FGC Public Information Office
Published July 1, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.
     LAKE CITY –
At his news conference Monday afternoon (June 29), Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s 2020-2021 budget.


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     Part of that budget included a $6.1 million appropriation for the construction of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building at Florida Gateway College.
     The project was funded for $6.1 million, bringing cash on hand to a little more than $10 million. The remaining funds necessary for the $16 million dollar project will be fund raised or financed.
     “We are excited that this project is coming to fruition,” Dr. Lawrence Barrett, President of Florida Gateway College, said. “Since I arrived at FGC almost six years ago, a new STEM building has been a priority for this campus. Our students and faculty deserve to learn in a state-of-the-art building with the latest classroom tools.”
     Air quality issues plagued the old facility, which was built in 1965 and had to be demolished. During the spring of 2018, all classes and laboratories scheduled in building 8/9 were moved to temporary locations throughout the campus as well as all faculty.
     The college already has architectural plans drawn for the new building. Fundraising and competitive bids will be the next step in this process.


Rotarians welcome
visiting past president

Trenton Florida Rotary
(from left) Wanda Clemons, Gilchrist Rotary Past President Bob Clemons, Rotary President Lowell Chesborough provide a photo opportunity on Monday (June 29). Bob Clemons also is a former Gilchrist County County School Board member.

Photo by Holly Creel, Rotarian

By Rosemary McDaniel, Rotarian
Published June 30, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     TRENTON --
Former Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Bob Clemons and his wife Wanda were guests of the Gilchrist County Rotary Club meeting on Monday afternoon (June 29) in Trenton.
     Bob had served for almost two years as president of our club before heading to the hills of Georgia and a different environment. While Bob and Wanda miss their friends here, they are enjoying their new surroundings and making new friends in their small community.
     After a delicious lunch of fried chicken, macaroni salad, green beans, garlic bread, dessert, and tea provided by chef Jason, Bob was presented with a President’s Plaque, a Paul Harris Fellowship Certificate, a special Rotary cap, and a memento box filled with notes from the membership.
     Bob and Wanda will be missed, but they know they are in our thoughts and we look forward to more visits from them in the future. All the best to you both for a wonderful new beginning.

Two Levy County water utilities
meet all federal and state
standards for drinking water

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 29, 2020 at 2:10 p.m.
     BRONSON –
The annual water quality reports for Manatee Utilities and University Oaks Utilities, are complete and available for review, Shelia Jackson of Levy County Water noted in an email with attachments of those two reports sent on Monday (June 29).
     A copy of these reports will be mailed to any of the two utilities’ customers upon request by calling 352-486-5376, she noted.
     Levy County Water is responsible for Manatee Utilities, which serves customers in and around Chiefland Golf and Country Club, and University Oaks Utilities, which serves people in the area of the University Oaks Subdivision, east of Bronson.
     Both utilities are operated by the Levy County Board of County Commissioners - Levy County Water, which noted it wants to keep the customers informed about the excellent water and services that were delivered during the past year.
     Both reports show results from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019, except in some areas as noted on the reports.
     “Our goal is, and always has been, to provide to you a safe and dependable supply of drinking water,” the county notes. “Our water source is ground water from one well. The well draws from the Floridan Aquifer. Our water is obtained from groundwater sources and is chlorinated for disinfection purposes.”
     In 2019, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) performed a Source Water Assessment on the system. A review of the data sources indicated no potential sources of contamination near the wells. The assessment results are available on the DEP Source Water Assessment and Protection Program website at
     This report shows the water quality results and what they mean.
     Customers who have any questions about these two reports or concerns this water utility, are asked to please contact Jim Jones at the office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 352-486-5598.
     Manatee Utilities and University Oaks Utilities routinely monitor for contaminants in the drinking water according to federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.


FGC will celebrate graduates
with several in-person (live)
ceremonies with CDC guidelines

By Mike McKee 
Florida Gateway College
Executive Director of Media and Public Information
Published June 27, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.
     LAKE CITY –
Florida Gateway College (FGC) will honor nearly 700 graduates during several smaller ceremonies on June 29, 30 and July 7.
     FGC surveyed all students eligible to graduate in the spring and an overwhelming number responded positive to an early Summer graduation rather than a ceremony at the end of the year.
     Plans are to hold ceremonies with 10 students and up to five of their family members, practicing social distancing in the Levy Performing Arts center on campus. 
     The first ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 29, and the last at 7 p.m. On Tuesday June, 30, the first ceremony will be at 10 a.m. and the last at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, July 7, the first ceremony will be at 1 p.m. and last at 7 p.m.
     Students and college trustees have videotaped inspirational messages for the graduating class.
     Dr. Lawrence Barrett will attend all 16 ceremonies and will provide live remarks to the graduates. Each ceremony will have all of the Pomp and Circumstance of a normal ceremony.
     “By doing the smaller ceremonies, we can still celebrate the achievements of each individual graduate, and they can share their experience with their families,” said Dr. Lawrence Barrett, president of Florida Gateway College. “As a college we always believe our strength is to connect personally with each student, and this event will culminate that experience.”
     The college is scheduled to broadcast each ceremony on Comcast Cable channel 8 and is scheduled to stream each ceremony on the Internet through the college’s website.


Prepare For 2020 hurricane Season
Update disaster plans;

Hurricane Season started June 1
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 9, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2020 at 6:10 a.m.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic continuing to reduce resources in the world, the United States, Florida and the Tri-County Area, such as viable motels to use as temporary shelters, revising plans for sheltering in place or evacuating from the path of oncoming hurricanes is required now.
     Hurricanes destroying property and taking lives in Florida are seen as a threat between June 1 and Nov. 30, with the later part of the season producing the strongest storms – powered by solar heat.
     Seasonal disaster planning is more challenging now. Each family in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties is hampered to very degrees from not at all impeded to very, very shackled. Loss of revenue caused by a downturn in business activity is a factor that hit many households during the pandemic – which has not stopped.
     Annual preparation and planning for hurricane season needs some revamping now. Beyond stocking the water, food, medicine, first aid supplies, batteries, generators and other resources to survive weeks without electric service, etc., this is a time to consolidate insurance and medical records as well as to review insurance coverage that comes from hurricane or flood damage.
     Despite having to work within current limits that may be a bit perplexing to some, the best method for having to deal with hurricane-oriented inconveniences is to prepare well before the procrastinators panic-buy the shelves bare for essential supplies that will be needed to mitigate loss and to get through the aftermath of a hurricane’s visit.
     It is strongly recommended by professional Emergency Management staffers to prepare a disaster plan. Those people who endorse this sage advice include Levy County Emergency Management Director John MacDonald; Levy County Emergency Management Assistant Director David Peaton; Levy County Emergency Management Planner II Leather Keene; and the division chiefs of Dixie County Emergency Services – DCES Chief Darian Brown, the leader of that whole department; Dixie County Emergency Management Division Chief Scott Garner; Dixie County Division Chief of Fire Service Operations Roy Bass; Dixie County Division Chief of Emergency Medical Services Scott Pendarvis; and Dixie County Division Chief of 9-1-1 Chuck Elton.
     Like Levy and Dixie counties, Gilchrist County has its specialist for this service – Gilchrist County Emergency Management Director Ralph Smith. Director Smith advises people to plan and have resources ready now for the advent of a disaster, like a hurricane.
     Tri-County Area law enforcement agencies, as well as the fire departments and ambulance service providers likewise would tell people to prepare a disaster response plan, and to regularly restock, rotate and update supplies for that need.
     Like every emergency management service in the 67 counties of Florida, the Tri-County Area departments seek to prepare the public for a disaster. Those valiant individuals work to mitigate the damage during and after the event. Then, they strive to help people recover from disasters as well.
     The first part, however, is personal preparedness. Getting ready now to assure that families are ready for a pending hurricane is important, and it is up to each family’s leader to get their familial team onboard with the required work now. Family leaders can delegate some jobs, however they have to expend some elbow grease too.
     The Levy County Emergency Management website is among the good starting resources for family, pet and business preparedness. It is located at
     Another good source to review while making a personal disaster response plan is at
     Among the many resources at the Levy County Emergency Management site is an Eight-Week Shopping Guide This helps buyers spread their costs over a couple of months. Given that the first week of May is gone, this would need to be ramped up now.
     In the event that one or more of Florida’s 67 counties’ Emergency Management websites are not functioning, there is the state site of to see the method to find the links to any Florida county’s emergency management website.


Levy County youth elected to
Florida SWAT’s
Youth Advocacy Board

Jasmin Guerro of Levy County SWAT





Jasmin Guerrero



Story and Photo
By Kristina Zachry, MPH
Community Health Advocate - Levy County
QuitDoc Foundation
First Published In The Tobacco Prevention Newsletter
Republished June 26, 2020 at 6:10 a.m.
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Florida’s youth tobacco prevention organization.
     Every county has a SWAT program with youth leaders who work diligently in their schools and alongside the Tobacco Free Partnerships in their communities to educate their peers and decision makers about the impact the tobacco industry has on youth tobacco addiction.
     A Levy County SWAT member was recently elected to serve on the Statewide SWAT Youth Advocacy Board (YAB). Jasmin Guerrero is a rising Junior at Chiefland Middle High School and will represent Region 2 and Levy County on the 16-member statewide youth advisory board for the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. Jasmin will bring a unique skillset to the statewide board. She is an accomplished artist and has been a leader in Levy County SWAT for the past four years.
     The SWAT program was recently recognized by the World Health Organization for its Not a Lab Rat Campaign, which is an awareness campaign intended to educate people about the tobacco industry’s efforts to addict teens to e-cigarettes.
     “I’m most excited about working on the Not A Lab Rat Campaign,” said Jasmin, “I feel like a lot of teens are vaping and there need to be more boundaries – they are accessing these e-cigarettes too easily.”  
     Jasmin also feels concern about the tobacco industry targeting young people. “I care because my brother and his friends are young, and they have friends who vape,” she said. “I just don’t want to see so many kids addicted to the use of e-cigarettes.”
     SWAT clubs have been in nearly every middle and high school of Levy County consistently since 2007 with an average of 200 members. A youth leader from the county has been elected by peers to serve on the statewide SWAT Youth Advocacy Board since 2008.
     The Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County works closely with the local SWAT youth as the county SWAT representative always serves as a Youth Co-Chair for the partnership. Having youth members serve as partnership officers is an important way to make sure their voices are heard in discussions involving youth prevention and policy changes in our communities and the partnership is proud of Jasmin for representing Levy County on the statewide youth board for this upcoming year.


CF Foundation donor
leaves legacy for future nurses

By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published June 25, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida Foundation recently announced a planned gift of  $88,756 to establish the Frances M. Lowe Endowed Nursing Scholarship at CF. 

     The donor, Frances Lowe, was a resident of Inverness. Lowe had a passion for education expressed by her interest to help future generations achieve their dreams of becoming nurses. Staff from the CF Foundation met with her and her advisor to discuss how the Foundation may help her achieve her goal.
     After a tour of the College of Central Florida’s Citrus Campus nursing lab and a few more conversations, Lowe committed to create the endowed nursing scholarship at CF through a generous gift through her will.
     Lowe passed away in September 2019 with an intent to help others well into the future through education.
      “This generous planned gift will provide much needed scholarship opportunities for nursing students attending CF,” said Chris Knife, executive director, CF Foundation.
     If you are interested in providing a legacy gift to the College of Central Florida, one way to do so is to include the CF Foundation in your will.
     Planned gifts help ensure that students will have the necessary funds to transform their lives through education. For more information about including the CF Foundation in your will, contact Traci Mason, or 352-873-5808, or visit


FGC rated as second best
online community college in Fla.

By Stephen Culotti, Public Information Specialist
Florida Gateway College
Published June 25, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     LAKE CITY –
Florida Gateway College (FGC) of Lake City has been rated as the second best online community college in Florida.
     Optimal’s Guide to Online Schools reviewed 550 community colleges and calculated the rankings based on retention rate, graduation rate and the variety of online degrees offered.
     Formerly known as SR Education Group until January of 2020, the company providing this ranking rebranded itself as Optimal Guide to Online Schools just over six months ago.
     Optimal rated Hillsborough Community College of Tampa as the best online community college in Florida.
     Online programs have long been an essential part of FGC’s mission to serve its students. The recent challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought into sharp focus the importance of online education capabilities, and the college is proud to be able to deliver quality, affordable education to its students where they are.
     For information regarding online programs FGC offers, visit or call 386-752-1822.


Gilchrist County Rotarians
welcome new Extension agent

Gilchrist County Rotary Club Trenton Florida
(from left) Gilchrist County Rotarian Marvin Weaver, UF/IFAS Gilchrist County Extension Director Jessica Cooper, Rotary President Lowell Chesborough and Gilchrist County Extension Agent Tyler Pittman provide a photo opportunity at the Monday (June 22) meeting of the Rotary Club of Gilchrist County.

Photo By Holly Creel, Rotarian

By Rosemary McDaniel, Rotarian
Published June 22, 2020 at 6:10 p.m.
     TRENTON --
At the regular Monday afternoon meeting of the Gilchrist County Rotary Club on June 22, the club welcomed Tyler Pittman, the new Gilchrist County Extension agent and UF/IFAS Gilchrist County Extension Director Jessica Cooper.
     The two guests were introduced by Rotarian Marvin Weaver, the now-retired Gilchrist County Extension Agent who served in that position for many years.
     Extension agents are provided by the University of Florida’s IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) department to provide information and support for landowners of both small and large scale tracts.
     UF/IFAS has an Extension service in all 67 counties. The mission of UF/IFAS is to develop knowledge in agricultural, human, and natural resources, and to make that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.
     Small scale owners of fewer than 40 acres often have questions related to use of fertilizer, the selection of cultivars for lawns, gardens, and pastures, whereas large scale holdings of more than 40 acres focus on commercial production, including watermelons, vegetables, hay, and timber as well as recreational lands and BMP (Best Management Practices) compliance issues.
     Pittman has been in his new position for only two months, but he has fielded hundreds of phone calls by residents looking for information. This Extension agent has been working with the Gilchrist County Unit of the Florida Department of Health, which has been testing the migrant workers to see if they have COVID-19.
     The Extension Office will continue to provide information regarding the most efficient use of land. technical assistance with plant diseases, invasive species, pests and water quality and use.
     Several questions were asked by Club members and Pittman and Cooper were thanked for their informative presentation.
     Chef Jason offered another delicious lunch consisting of Roman Chicken with peppers, pasta, Cesar salad, dessert, and iced tea.


Levy County teachers
learn about trees

Teachers learn about trees
Yankeetown School Kindergarten Teacher Shauna Deskins shares a leaf she collected for the PLT activity Looking at Leaves.

Story and Photo Provided Thanks To
Jessica Ireland
Coordinator, Florida Project Learning Tree
University of Florida | School of Forest Resources and Conservation
and Joseph “Joe” MacKenzie 
Senior Forester, serving Gilchrist & Levy Counties
Florida Forest Service
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Published June 19, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.
Levy County teachers learned during a Project Learning Tree - Virtual Professional Development Training Experience on Wednesday, June 16, that money does grow on trees, along with 5,000 other products and benefits ranging from clean water to wildlife habitat to cosmetics.
     Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education initiative designed for formal and non-formal educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
     PLT helps develop students’ awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the environment; build their skills to make informed decisions; and encourage them to take responsibility for sustaining the natural world.  PLT is an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
     SFI supports getting youth into the outdoors to advance environmental literacy and stewardship and explore career pathways using trees and forests as windows on the world. In Florida, PLT is sponsored by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
     PLT professional development trainings are usually in-person, but due to COVID-19, Florida PLT is offering virtual training opportunities this summer, for use with students both virtually and in-person.
     Ten Levy County teachers attended the webinar and were introduced to hands-on, multi-disciplinary PLT activities such as Tree Cookies, Water Wonders, Looking at Leaves, and We All Need Trees.
     Retired educator Mary Bahr and foresters Eric Handley (Usher Land and Timber), Matt Donovan (Weyerhaeuser), and Joe MacKenzie (Florida Forest Service) helped facilitate the training. Learn more about PLT at and Florida PLT at


Levy County works toward
budgeting for
COVID-19 recovery funds

Dana Sheffield and Virgil Sandlin
Among the people sitting in the audience Tuesday are Dana Sheffield of the Fanning Springs area of Levy County, and Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 17, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Cedar Key City Commissioner Jim Wortham (Seat 3) was the first person Tuesday morning (June 16) to speak about federal funding coming to Levy County via the State of Florida to help with economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Levy County Commission
Listening to a plea for fiscal help from the City of Cedar Key are members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, who are (from left) Rock Meeks, Lilly Rooks, Matt Brooks, John Meeks and Mike Joyner.

     Wortham, in his address, mentioned the island town had closed access onto the island via State Road 24 by placing Cedar Key Police Department officers who allowed only island residents for a period of time, even stopping members of the press.
     This barricade, he explained, was an effort to reduce the potential of the spread of the virus to island residents.
     As a result of this increased police presence, he said, the city spent unbudgeted funds for overtime payments to the officers under the direction of CKPD Chief Virgil Sandlin, Wortham said.
     “It may be happening again,” City Commissioner Wortham said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months.”
     Wortham said the Cedar Key City Commission wanted to bring its fiscal issue to the attention of the County Commission, because it learned about the potential for help with funding.
      Levy County Emergency Management Director John MacDonald said the expenses listed by Wortham are potentially able to be reimbursed. Levy County Coordinator Wilbur Dean was appointed as the contact person for the state to begin the process to decide where the county can and will spend between $500,000 and $2 million to help private business interests and municipal governments, as well as the county government.
     A firm number of dollars was not available as of Tuesday morning.
     County Commission Chairman Matt Brooks said he looks forward to completing the necessary steps to accept the federal funds through the state.
     The County Commission completed several other actions, as well as hearing an update on the local business scene from Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik.

Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum receives unanimous approval from the Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday for the continuation of an agreement with Crime Stoppers of Alachua County.

Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones receives unanimous approval from the Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday for an amendment to her annual budget of this fiscal year. Jones said she had received $56,488 in grant funding, which did not cost Levy County taxpayers anything, and her auditor told her this budget amendment needed to be approved by the County Commission, which it did in unanimity.


Scores of people want
to be Williston city manager;

Sewage in the Suwanee River;
No fireworks until July 3, 2021

Williston Florida City Council
In this screen shot taken from the live of the Williston City Council meeting on Tuesday night (June), the people taking action are (from left) City Councilwoman Marguerite Robinson, Vice President Justin Head, Mayor Jerry Robinson, President Charles Goodman, Councilwoman Debra Jones and Councilman Elihu Ross.

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 16, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.
The GoToMeeting program to participate in the Williston City Council meeting on Tuesday night (June 6) failed, however people could watch and listen to the meeting via a live stream on, thanks to Williston IT Consultant Aaron Mills.
     During the time for public participation, there was a person who mentioned getting a power-wash machine and some buckets of paint to help reduce the appearance of slum and blight in Williston. There was no action on the suggestion.
     As other bits of information were released near the outset of the meeting, it was mentioned that there are between 70 and 80 applicants to be the next city manager of Williston.
     Acting City Manager Dennis Strow said, “and I am not one of them” as he reminded the City Council that he is the police chief who is serving the city in this capacity for as short of a time as possible.
     July 10 is the deadline for people to submit their names and information as applicants to be the next Williston city manager.
     Council President Charles Goodman said he would like the City Council members to pick their best applicants for the position. He did not want to put a number like 10 or five. He just wants City Council members to begin their own reviews to reduce the mass.
     In other news, Council President Goodman said he heard the City of Valdosta has dumped raw sewage that is going to enter the Suwannee River, again, and he wants people to be aware of that. He asked members of the press to note this in their reports.
     Valdosta has repeated dumped raw sewage into rivers near that city and they feed into the Suwannee River. The Georgia Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environment Protection Agency are all apparently unable to cause that city’s government leaders to fix the problems causing it.
     Acting City Manager Strow asked for guidance from the City Council regarding five utility customers who are behind in their payments, and who are not trying to pay anything on their debts.
     Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council had reduced its aggressiveness on collecting past due payments – providing more forgiveness with late payments and shut-offs.
     It was consensus of the City Council to begin taking more action in July, which can include stopping service and late payment fees being added.
     This will be effective for the bill that is late after July 10, according to what was said at the meeting. Acting City Manager Strow said the city is willing to work with people on a payment plan, however shut-off of service is an option.
     Councilwoman Debra Jones reminded the City Council about potentially having a parade and fireworks on Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
     Acting City Manager Strow said fireworks can be bought, and prepaid, given that date would be in the next fiscal year. The fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.
     Labor Day is in the current fiscal year, Jones said, but she prefers Veterans Day as the time to have a celebration with a parade and fireworks.
     The rotation of Veterans Day parades in Levy County puts it in Chiefland, this year, Chief Strow mentioned.
     Williston City Council Vice President Justin Head, Councilman Elihu Ross and President Goodman all said they prefer going forward to July 3, 2021 for the celebration, rather than starting a potential new tradition of fireworks on a day other than to celebrate independence by the colonists from England.
     While people expressed their opinion, there was no action.
     Mayor Jerry Robinson said he disagrees with the consensus of the majority -- waiting until July 3, 2021 to have fireworks. The mayor intimated that he wanted the city to have fireworks on Labor Day or Veterans Day.
     President Goodman thanked the mayor for his input. The mayor, however, has no vote.
     In another matter where Mayor Robinson and President Goodman differed in opinions, the mayor brought up a resolution that requires voting City Council members to raise their hands as well as to voice their vote. President Goodman asked the City Council to remove that line from that resolution, because it is his position that it is not necessary to raise hands to indicate a vote.
     President Goodman said he makes it clear with each vote on what the count is, such as unanimous 5-0, or 4-1, or 3-2, etc.
     Goodman said he felt so strongly about not forcing his colleagues on City Council to raise their hands as they vote, that if there were two members of the City Council who want him to resign, then he would resign right then.
     Goodman said he is not going to let the mayor force him to run the meeting in some manner other than Goodman believes it should be done as City Council president.
     Mayor Robinson’s demand for President Goodman to abide by what appears to be an outdated section of a resolution that had sought more civility and clarity in City Council meetings resulted in an agenda item for the next meeting.
     Councilwoman Jones’ motion to have City Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein Jr. bring the matter back in a written form, where that verbiage would be removed from that 2012 resolution, died for lack of a second.
     Instead, the City Council reached consensus to ask Koberlein to return with revised verbiage to the 2012 resolution that requires the City Council to raise its hands when it votes. The city attorney mentioned to the municipal leaders that by waiting until the next meeting, the public will have more of an opportunity to be at the meeting when a vote is made on what would then be an agenda item with possible action.
     In other action, by a 4-1 vote, with President Goodman voting against it, the City Council approved a resolution to have a money market account with Drummond Bank. By opening a money
market account, the City would be able to maximize potential interest income by transferring excess operating funds into this account.
     The action was endorsed by Financial Director Stephen Bloom, who had brought the idea to the City Council.


Tire Amnesty Day succeeds
Tire Amnesty Day In Levy County Florida
One of many vehicles on the road to deliver used tires Saturday (June 13) to the Levy County Solid Waste Transfer Station is seen here southbound on U.S. Alt. 27 about a mile before entering the Town of Bronson. The truck and trailer would continue through Bronson southbound (heading toward Williston), before turning to go to the transfer station.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 14, 2018 at 9:10 a.m.
All Rights Reserved
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday (June 13), vehicles and trailers loaded with discarded tires rolled into and out of the tire disposal area of the Levy County Solid Waste Transfer Station, 12051 N.E. 69th Lane (between Bronson and Williston).


In this video from the 2018 Tire Amnesty Day, the Levy County machine used to move and pack tires into the back of a semi is seen in action.
Video By Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved

Tire Amnesty Day In Levy County Florida

The line of vehicles waiting to deliver tires Saturday morning goes beyond camera view, however the employees at the Levy County Solid Waste Department kept the flow for residential garbage drop-off and tire recycling running smoothly.

Tire Amnesty Day In Levy County Florida
Here is a sample view of one of the many, many trailers of tires delivered for recycling Saturday.

Tire Amnesty Day In Levy County Florida
Among the other Levy County workers at the transfer station, beyond the Solid Waste Department staff, on Saturday were (from left) Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Kendall Gielski, LCDPS EMT-Firefighter Dena Hatch and LCDPS Support Responder (ambulance driver) Geoffrey Foss. There were other Levy County departments at the site, too, providing information to tire recyclers. This three-member LCDPS team worked there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. LCPDS Battalion Capt. Clayton Drew checked on the team in the morning by visiting them. The LCDPS is led by Chief James ‘Mitch’ Harrell.

     The effort to reduce mosquito breeding grounds, as well as to overcome and prevent other health, biological and environmental hazards from tires improperly disposed of or stored in Levy County showed phenomenal success again this year.
     Joined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Levy County Solid Waste leadership and staff once again performed a phenomenal job.
     In 2018, Levy County Commission then-Chairman John Meeks initiated the venture when on April 3 of that year he suggested to the County Commission that they provide the people of Levy County with an amnesty from fees for discarded tires. Chairman Meeks on that day found unanimous agreement by the County Commission members present at the outset of the meeting to award Levy County residents a fee-free day to drop off old car tires.
     Since then, Solid Waste Landfill Operations Administrative Director Rod Hastings, Solid Waste Landfill Operations Director Benny Jerrels and their staff members have helped reduce improper tire disposal in Levy County with the Annual Tire Amnesty Day, as well as during regular business hours for normal fees.
     Normally in Levy County, it costs $2 per car tire to drop tires at the Solid Waste Transfer Station. Therefore, Levy County residents saved $2-per-tire on that Saturday. There was a limit of 25 tires per resident, and recyclers had to have proof of residency in Levy County. Also, no commercial or business interests were given the amnesty from the normal tire recycling fee.
     Beyond saving money, Levy County residents who used this amnesty will be help reduce the potential for mosquito-breeding places because rainwater in discarded tires is a prime location for breeding those blood-sucking, disease-spreading insects, Levy County Mosquito Control Director Mathew “Matt” Weldon has said.
     The Florida DEP and Levy County Solid Waste showed significant progress Saturday in this regard.
     Meanwhile, as vehicle after vehicle – with many of them pulling trailers, went into the main solid waste transfer site, county staff members directed traffic for normal residential garbage drop-off and for those drivers bringing in old tires.
     This year’s Tire Amnesty Day in Levy County added an element. Members of the Levy County Public Safety Department (formerly known as Levy County Fire-Rescue) and of the Levy County Emergency Management Department were available to provide people with information.
     This story has a potential update coming with the total count of tires from the June 13 (2020) event and more information.



First Published Feb. 1, 2011 at 8 a.m.
     On Feb. 1, 2011, came into existence on the Internet. On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of 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 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). The journalist who is a sole proprietor and owner of (Jeff M. Hardison) notes his appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company, and for the many other contributors who have helped people over the past 10 years here now. This journalist welcomes contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to Americans are reminded that all religions, having no religion and or being a person who endorses anti-religion are all protected as part of the freedoms from government intervention, as are other benefits from being an American.


Monday  July 6, 2020 at  7:10 a.m

Read Genesis 9:8-17

     Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
-- Mark 8:18 (KJV)

     If you have eyes to see, you will find the great truths hidden in the common things of life. They do not lie on the surface – God has hidden them as He hid the gold and the jewels. Only those who dig shall find them; for there is healing and blessing in the digging and in the finding.
     When you rise early and see the dawn break after the night, God is saying “I will always bring bright light out of darkness. In the creation of the World, out of the black void, I brought light; and the glory of earth came out of darkness and my love for you.” No matter how dark the night is now, joy cometh in the morning. A new day for you, new friends, new adventures and joy. The day will dawn; the lark will sing; and God will bring you new joy. Have faith in God!
     If under the winter snow you see the flowers growing, you know that spring is coming. You will live in the fragrance of the flowers that will bloom tomorrow.   
     “Memory was given that we might have roses in December.” Remember the happy times God gave you. He is preparing happier times for you tomorrow. Have faith in God!
     After the storm comes the rainbow. It is the bow of the promise of God. God put it there Himself and said, “It is my promise to you.” A storm may drive you from your native shores and away from home and friends; but if you have eyes to see, you will discover the rainbow, and joy will come after the storm. Have faith in God!
     FATHER, I thank Thee that when my spirits droop and my heart is fearful, Thou dost always drape Thy rainbow around the threatening clouds. Forgive my sins and grant to me that conquering faith without which no one can win in life. Amen.
Pastor R. Wilbur Babcock
Temple Baptist Church
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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 © July 6, 2020 at 7:10 a.m.
     Are you obsessed over something? Has something gained your attention in such a way that you have made some drastic changes in order to accommodate that matter? Deer hunters do this all the time. I was just reliving the past season with a friend. He was telling me about a place where he hunted that was for bow hunters only. One evening, just before dark, he saw what he called the buck of a lifetime, and it was only 60 yards from his stand. And even though he could not get a shot at it, it caused him to almost ignore all the other bucks that came his way; and there were plenty. By the time his few days of hunting were over, he had passed up some really big bucks because none of them were the one he had seen just a few days earlier. In the end, the cost was coming home empty-handed, all because he had become obsessed with one prize so valuable that every other prize paled in comparison. He is not alone in this obsession. I know of other hunters who have marked one particular buck as their goal and have waited for two or three years in order to get it. And I know of some who waited just as long only to find out their prize was now their neighbor’s trophy. Some may not understand this obsession. Some do. Everyone ought to.
     In recalling these stories, I am reminded of the biblical story of the man who found a valuable pearl. The author says when he discovered it, he sold everything he owned and bought it. No diversification. No hedging his investment. No waiting until more favorable times. But selling it all – pushing it all in for this one pearl of great price. What was the Lord comparing this most valuable pearl to? The kingdom of heaven. What is the kingdom of heaven? Let’s just say it is the totality of God in our lives now and the greatness of heaven in the future. What the Lord desires is this; that there would come a time in our lives when we finally understand the most valuable thing in our life is simply Him. And in fully understanding this, we would willfully, gladly, and excitingly be willing to give it all up in order to experience, without distraction, the worth and surpassing greatness of that relationship.


 -- Gary Miller

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

MONDAY  JULY 6  7:10 a.m.
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