Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  July 15, 2019

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Free food, free clothing and
free legal services
given in Chiefland area

John Messick, vice president of Catholic Charities, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Chiefland Chapter, and Ryan Greenberg, 22, a University of Florida fifth year senior who volunteers for Three Rivers Legal Services and for other organizations, are among the many volunteers helping Thursday. Greenberg is looking at law school in his future, including potentially at the U.F. Fredric G. Levin College of Law, Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, or elsewhere. Ron Goldman is the president of Catholic Charities in Chiefland. In the car behind these two volunteers is Thomas Bryant, one of the many, many recipients of free food from the United States Department of Agriculture Share Program on Thursday.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 18, 2019 at 10:49 p.m.
Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church of Chiefland on U.S. Alt 27 in Southeast Chiefland was the scene of charity in action Thursday morning (July 18), with volunteers putting feet on the ground as food recipients kept feet on their vehicles’ brakes or accelerators.



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A sign of the level of poverty in the Chiefland area is long lines of cars filled with people seeking free food. Free food is common in Levy County. Every single public school student is eligible to receive free meals every school day in Levy County. Cars line up on the long driveway into the distribution point for free food.

Ryan Greenberg asks food recipients if they have ever used free legal services. He is a volunteer for Three Rivers Legal Services.

Free clothes await takers.

     The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Share Program as well as local Catholic Charities and Three Rivers Legal Services had volunteers serving people, who remained in vehicles as they received free food from the USDA Share Program.
     John Messick, vice president of Catholic Charities, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Chiefland Chapter, said the free food giveaway is normally a twice-a-month event, but in July it is only once this month, to give volunteers a break.
     Normally, the food giveaway is the second and fourth Thursday, with food placed into vehicles starting at 9 a.m., Messick said.
     The first person seeking the free food on Thursday (July 18) was in the driveway at 5 a.m., he said. Some volunteers arrived early, Messick said, so, they started helping people by distributing food starting at 8:30 a.m.
     The Society of St Vincent de Paul is an international voluntary organization in the Catholic Church, founded in 1833 for the sanctification of its members by personal service of the poor.
     Volunteers for the event Thursday morning included Catholics,
Baptists, Methodists and people of other faiths or without faith.
     During the first six months of 2019, Messick said, this event at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church Chiefland has provided 84,000 pounds of food to people.
     There were 19 items in each family pack given to recipients on Thursday, Messick said. Some vehicles included people who qualified for more than one family pack.
     Depending on various factors, food items include gallons of milk, apples, oranges, several types of beans, egg noodles, canned meat, stew, frozen pork loins, frozen chicken and other types of food.
     Messick mentioned that the Tri-County Community Resource Center conducts this type of free food giveaway twice a year. Many of the TCCRC volunteers also serve at the Catholic church during its twice-a-month food giveaway.
     The Chiefland Chapter of St. Vincent de Paul help needy people with part of their utility bills, too, when funds are available, he added.
     The Tri-County Community Resource Center, which is well-connected with the Partnership for Strong Families, is a focal point to help needy people find food, clothing, housing, schooling and jobs, because it partners with many churches and organizations in the area of Levy County, Gilchrist County and Dixie County.
     Ryan Greenberg, a fifth-year senior at the University of Florida, was active Thursday morning as he volunteered for Three Rivers Legal Services.
     He is helping that non-profit group complete work to submit a grant application for $2 million, which the group successfully submitted in 2012 and 2015. By surveying people in the 17-county area served by Three Rivers Legal Services, which provides help for needy people in civil matters, the organization can better assess legal needs of the people and better distribute its resources, Greenberg said.
    Generally, Three Rivers Legal Services helps families with low incomes, but services and eligibility may vary depending on the requirements of its different funding sources. It deals with matters of family law and other civil issues at law.
     Not only did people have free food and legal services offered to them, but a rack of clothes was placed in the open for people to take if they wanted free clothes. The church operates a thrift shop, and this is probably from whence the free clothes were brought.

CF Open House set for July 20
Levy County
This map by Google shows the campus is on the west side of U.S. Highway 19 north or Chiefland and south of the City of Fanning Springs.

Published June 11, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
UPDAted june 23, 2019 at 8:09 am..
The College of Central Florida
invites recent high school seniors and those looking to advance their career to an open house on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus, 15390 N.W. Highway 19, north of  Chiefland.

     Future students are encouraged to stop by and receive assistance with the application process, financial aid, placement testing, academic advising, campus tours or receive assistance registering for fall semester, which begins Aug. 19.
     CF is offering 40 $1,000 merit scholarships to Levy County students who graduated this spring. Scholarships awarded include $500 for fall 2019 and $500 for spring 2020. To be eligible, students must graduate from a Levy County high school in 2019 and enroll at the CF Levy Campus for the 2019 fall semester.
     Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and enroll in at least six credit hours each semester with at least one on-site class held at the Levy Campus.
     To apply for financial aid at the event, please bring these documents: Federal Student Aid ID available at; email address; 2017 W-2 and Federal Income Tax Forms (1040, 1040A or 1040 EZ) for you and/or your parents (if you are a dependent student); 2017 untaxed income (Social Security, disability, workman’s compensation, etc.); driver’s license or state ID; Social Security card; spouse or parent’s Social Security number and date of birth. For Florida residency verification, please bring your Florida driver’s license and a copy of your Florida vehicle registration or voter’s registration.
     For more information about the Open House at the Levy County, campus of CF, visit or call 352-658-4077, ext. 2118.

CF adds new
Bachelor of Applied Science
accounting specialization

Published June 25, 2019 at 8:49 p.m.
     OCALA —
The College of Central Florida is adding a new accounting specialization to its Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management degree starting this fall due to the demand for employees in that industry.
     The specialization will be offered in eight-week terms at the Ocala Campus and will provide students with the educational foundation for management careers within the accounting, auditing, banking, nonprofit and other financial organizations. Students will complete 15 credit hours in upper division courses focused on the basics of accounting, auditing and taxation.
     If a student has earned an Associate in Science or Associate in Arts they can seamlessly enter this program. The specialization facilitates entry into a master’s degree program, which leads to a pathway for the student to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam.
      “The college is excited to launch the Accounting specialization at the bachelor’s level this fall semester,” said Dr. Rob Wolf, dean of Business, Technology and Career and Technical Education. “The student will not only receive extensive knowledge of accounting, but also a strong foundation of business theory.”
     The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 140,300 new accounting and auditing jobs by 2026, or 10 percent job growth. Accountants rank No. 7 in the Best Business Jobs, No. 8 in Best Stem Jobs, and No. 36 in the 100 Best Jobs. According to CareerSource, accountants rank No. 5 in high-skill, high-wage jobs in the Tri-County Area of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties with an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent.
     CF currently offers an Accounting Technology Associate in Science program and three Accounting Certificates


Orthopedic surgeon orders
CAT scan
as publisher’s bones mend


These X-rays show two views of the bones and metal parts holding them together in Jeff Hardison’s left arm and wrist. The newer X-rays are on the left. Those are from July 11. The other X-rays (on the right) are from Feb. 28.

X-rays by The Orthopaedic Institute

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 11, 2019 at 4:39 p.m.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason T. Shinn of The Orthopaedic Institute ordered a CAT scan to better evaluate what appears to be mending bones in publisher Jeff M. Hardison’s left arm and wrist bones.
      A CAT scan is also known as a CT scan, or computed tomography scan. It allows doctors to see inside the body, according to WebMD.
     “It uses a combination of X-rays and a computer to create pictures of your organs, bones and other tissues. It shows more detail than a regular X-ray,” the WebMD website notes.
     An X-ray and consultation session Thursday (July 11) at the Orthopaedic Institute in Gainesville, led the surgeon to seek a better view via a CT scan to evaluate the progress of the patient’s bones fusing. Some bone parts in Hardison’s left arm and wrist are being held together by a plate, four screws and seven metal pins.
     Hardison, a multiple Florida Press Association award-winning reporter and editor, fell while attempting to take a picture of a float in the Dec. 8, 2018 Chiefland Christmas Parade.
     The former daily and weekly newspaper reporter and editor, who now owns a daily news website, was attempting to catch up with a float that had passed by.
     “I was running backwards at a relatively good pace,” Hardison said, “when the back part of my left sneaker did not clear a square reflector in the middle of U.S. Highway 19 (Main Street), just north of Park Avenue in Chiefland. So, I fell down fast and hard, hitting with all of my weight on part of my left hand. That caused bones to break.”
     Although his wife Sharon had succeeded in persuading the intrepid, illustrious and prolific writer to simply watch the parade, because he had paid an independent contractor to take pictures, the man was moved to take one shot.
     He did not succeed in taking that picture.
     “I appreciate the people who helped get me to the operating room,” Hardison said. “Thanks to Chiefland Police Officer Kyle Schultz and his K-9 partner Blitz, the Levy County Department of Public Safety found me to transport me to North Florida Regional Medical Center.”
     Dr. Shinn conducted emergency surgery that Saturday night from 9 a.m. until 3 a.m. on Sunday (Dec. 9) morning.
     The patient said he is very happy with the care and attention given to him by several nurses and other people at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
     “Those folks need to buy an ad in,” he added, “so that more people can know to be healed there.”
     Now, more than seven months after the accident, X-rays show some gaps may exist where the bones have not fused together yet.
     “This is about 400 percent longer than I thought it would take for my bones to mend,” Hardison said. “Apparently my body is agreeing with the biology and physics of human bodies and time. I guess I expect more from my body than is possible, given my age and everything. I can’t shape reality to be like it would be in Jeff World. Oh well. It’s all good.’”
     Dr. Shinn said the X-rays did not show him conclusively that the bones are healed. The CAT scan will show Dr. Shinn the details he seeks.
     The orthopedic surgeon said that none of the metal aids he added to connect the various parts of bone are coming loose from the bones, and this is good news. When bones do not fuse together as they should, including with the metal hardware, the metal parts are known to separate from the bones. This causes mandatory surgery.
     “I have some relatively minor chronic pain in my arm and wrist,” Hardison said. “I believe this is from the bones still doing what they must to repair themselves. My plan now is to visit the CAT scan people, and wait for Dr. Shinn to call me to say the results show that I can return to all of my activities 100 percent – except no more running backwards on highways with reflectors.”

No kill shelter supporters
celebrate progress at luncheon

Surprise guest shelter mascot Lucky the dog welcomes guests and poses for selfies.

Story and Photo
Provided by Bob Levesque
Published July 10, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
Williston’s soon-to-be no kill Community Animal Shelter hosted its inaugural “GIVE ME SHELTER” luncheon at Williston City Hall last month.
     Welcomed advocates, supporters and interested friends were there to get a status report on the timeline for construction.
     Shelter mascot Lucky the dog was there to welcome guests and pose for selfies. Guests dined on an assortment of tasty food donated by generous area restaurants.
     Auctions, games and a detailed report on the shelter’s status provided attendees an afternoon of fun and important updates on the shelter’s progress.
     The shelter raised nearly $4,000 in cash and in-kind donations at the event. Architectural plans, grants and preliminary tests are nearly complete and construction is expected to commence before year’s end.
     The shelter will provide a temporary home for dogs and cats in crisis, assist with medical care, disaster assistance, education programs and assorted other services to move at-risk animals from crisis to a permanent home.
     The shelter prides itself on being a NO KILL shelter for animals that would have otherwise faced a bleak future.
     For information about the new Williston Community Animal Shelter and how you can join the growing network of supporters contact Bob Levesque at Levy Animal Friends (LeAF) at 352-288-1980.

Levy County poll worker
orientation scheduled

Published July 10, 2019 at 1:19 p.m.
     BRONSON --
The Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office is scheduled to hold poll worker orientation on the dates below.
     This is a mandatory orientation for anyone interested in becoming a Levy County poll worker. The purpose of this orientation is to provide details about requirements of being a poll worker.
     Anyone who is interested may attend one of the following dates – Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. or Nov. 7 at 10 a.m.
     The orientation will be held at 421 S. Court St. in Bronson.
     Please use the side entrance of the Levy County Elections Office.
     If you plan to attend, please email to RSVP. The deadline to RSVP is Sept. 5. For more information, please call 352-486-5163.


FGC Educator Preparation
Institute receives
highest rating in the state

Published July 10, 2019 at 1:09 p.m.
     LAKE CITY –
Florida Gateway College’s Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) has received the highest rating in the state of Florida.
     The Florida Department of Education recently released its Annual Program Performance Report (APPR) for 2018-2019 evaluating the state’s EPI providers. The APPR detailed three areas of performance: Placement Rate, Retention Rate, and Teacher Evaluation Results. FGC was the only institution to receive the maximum score of 4 in each of these metrics, making it the only one to earn the highest possible score of 4 for Overall Performance.
     The EPI is designed to provide instruction for individuals with a non-education baccalaureate degree or higher, allowing them to become certified teachers in the state of Florida.


Andy Nguyen and Monnye Brown
named as
Gilchrist County Rotary Club’s
newest Paul Harris Fellows

Gilchrist County
Gilchrist County Rotary Clubs' newest Paul Harris Fellows are Andy Nguyen and Monnye Brown. Both of these Rotarians are musicians, by the way.

Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published July 10, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.
     TRENTON --
What is a Paul Harris Fellow? Who, in Gilchrist County are Paul Harris Fellows? Why is being a Paul Harris Fellow important?
     A Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.
     Rotary established this special recognition in 1957 to encourage and show appreciation for substantial contributions to Rotary and the many good causes it supports throughout the world. The mission of the Rotary Foundation is to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
     The Paul Harris Fellow designation is not an award, but a recognition that often signifies 10 years of serving as a Rotarian (and the dues paid in those years) or a contribution made by another Rotarian in their behalf.
     In addition to the recognition by the Gilchrist County Rotary Club and the Rotary Foundation, the recipient receives a special pin and personalized certificate that can be hung on the wall in their place of business or home. It is quite an honor!
     The important distinction is that, through 10 years of serving as a Rotarian, the individual has contributed immensely on behalf of Rotary for the community and the world at large. There are in excess of one million Paul Harris Fellows worldwide; and yes, a Paul Harris Fellow can be a woman!
     The Gilchrist County Rotary Club (formerly the Trenton Rotary Club) has named 45 Paul Harris Fellows since this club’s charter date on March 26, 1940.
     The Paul Harris Fellows from this club are Vincent Austin, J. Min Ayers, Doug Beach, David Branson, Monnye Brown, Susan Bryant, Todd Bryant, Joanna Buckles, Theodore Burt, Wilbur Bush, Lowell Chesborough, William Overton Clifton, William Elbert DeVore, Jr., J. Murphy Everett, Michael Faught, Mark Feather, John Frazier, Joseph Gilliam, Anthony Grandoff, Todd Gray, Scott Guthrie, D. Ray Harrison, Jr., John Johnston, Damon Leggett, Ronald McQueen, Andrew Nguyen, Audrey Philman, Ed Philman, Jeanne Philman, Iris Roberts, Reese Rowland, Theresa Sapp, Pauline Sauls, Cindy Slaughter, Charlie Smith, Shannon Smith, Wynn Smith, James Surrency, Don Thomas, Robert Vaughn, Jr., Matthew VunCannon, Chris Weatherilt, Marvin Weaver, Winfred Welch, Patricia Knight and Dewayne Yates.
     The Gilchrist Rotary Club recognizes and thanks the 45 Paul Harris Fellows listed above for their dedication to our community and to the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.

Florida joins CDC in
Hepatitis A outbreak response

Information Provided
By the Florida Department of Health
Published July 6, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
At Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' direction, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Florida Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees announced on Wednesday (July 3) that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health (FDOH) are partnering to control the current rise in Hepatitis A cases throughout Florida.
     The new partnership with the CDC demonstrates a commitment to expanding the robust response that FDOH is taking to control and prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Lieutenant Governor Nuñez and Surgeon General Rivkees are mobilizing additional resources, including vaccines and manpower, to combat this issue head-on.
     "The rise of Hepatitis A cases in Florida is an issue that Governor DeSantis and I are fully focused on,” Lt. Gov. Nuñez said. "We are working closely with Surgeon General Rivkees on this important issue and support his action to expand our response and work with our federal partners. This collaboration with the CDC will increase our vaccination outreach to protect more Floridians from this preventable disease and more aggressively promote awareness on how they can protect themselves and their loved ones.”
     "As Surgeon General, I am committed to the health of all residents and visitors of our great state,” Florida Surgeon General Rivkees said. "We will use every tool at our disposal to stop the spread of Hepatitis A in Florida and I welcome the partnership and collaboration with our federal partners at the CDC to assist in this important mission. We will work together to take bold, innovative steps to drastically increase outreach and vaccination to protect the people of Florida.”
     Since January of 2019, there have been 1,718 cases of Hepatitis A reported in Florida. This increase in cases reflects national trends, with more than 20,000 cases identified nationwide. Local and state health departments across the country have worked closely with the CDC to respond to similar outbreaks since March 2017.

About Hepatitis A
     Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus and prevented with the Hepatitis A vaccine. The Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of people who are infected and can survive on surfaces for several months. When hearing about Hepatitis A, many people think of contaminated food or water.
     That is one way the virus can spread and a common way that international travelers get infected. However, most people don't know that in the United States, and in Florida, Hepatitis A is more commonly spread from person to person, which is how people are getting infected in the current outbreaks.
     Infection can occur when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person. Hepatitis A is very contagious, and people can spread the virus before they get symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain and yellow skin or eyes.
     People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months. While most people recover and do not have lasting liver damage, some people need to be hospitalized and even die. People with chronic liver or kidney disease or a compromised immune system are more likely to experience severe illness, leading to liver failure and possible death.
     While Hepatitis A can affect anyone, certain groups are at greater risk of being infected in these outbreaks. To help stop the outbreaks, CDC recommends the Hepatitis A vaccine for people who use drugs (including drugs that are not injected), people experiencing homelessness, men who have sex with men, people with liver disease, and people who are or were recently in jail or prison.

Preventing Hepatitis A
     Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A is the cornerstone of controlling the outbreak. Hepatitis A is easily prevented with a safe and effective vaccine that has been recommended since 2006 for all children at age one. This means, however, that many adults did not get the Hepatitis A vaccine as a child and therefore are not protected against the disease.
     To help stop the outbreaks, the CDC recommends the Hepatitis A vaccine for people who use drugs (including drugs that are not injected), people experiencing homelessness, men who have sex with men, people with liver disease, and people who are or were recently in jail or prison. The vaccine is recommended for adults at risk, including groups affected in these outbreaks, as well as travelers to certain international countries.
     Persons at risk of hepatitis infection who have not been vaccinated or do not know their vaccination status should speak to their health care provider or contact their local county health department.
     The symptoms of Hepatitis A include: fever, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, diarrhea, and gray clay-colored stool. Those with symptoms of Hepatitis A should visit their health care provider for evaluation.
     Practicing good hand hygiene also plays an important role in preventing the spread of Hepatitis A.
     Make sure to wash hands after using the bathroom — alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill the Hepatitis A virus. Use soap and running water and wash for at least 20 seconds, wash hands after changing a diaper or caring for person, and wash hands before preparing, serving or eating food.

How Hepatitis A is Investigated
by the Department of Health

     After a case of Hepatitis A has been reported to the FDOH by a health care provider, a county health department (CHD) epidemiologist will interview the individual and collect information regarding the timeline of their previous 50 days, including travel, occupation, drug use, food history and more. The epidemiologist will then identify close contacts of the ill person.
     If given within 14 days, the Hepatitis A vaccine will help prevent infection among anyone exposed to the virus. As with the national outbreak, the majority of cases of Hepatitis A in Florida are close contacts of persons experiencing homelessness or persons who use or inject drugs.
     Less than 5 percent of cases have been identified among food workers. To date, FDOH has not identified a case of Hepatitis A transmission from a food worker to a restaurant patron.

For More Information
     For any questions or concerns about Hepatitis A, residents and visitors can call 1-844-CALL-DOH (844-225-5364), or email
     The Florida Department of Health has published a webpage, to educate Floridians on Hepatitis A prevention and the steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of infection.

Educational Resources

Fact Sheet for the Public

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable form of infectious hepatitis

Information for Healthcare Providers

Information for Food Service Workers

Foodborne Disease Information


New Extension agent
introduced in Levy County

Story and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 5, 2019 at 2:19 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Mark Warren, an agriculture extension agent, was introduced to the Levy County Board of County Commissioners at the regular twice-a-month meeting on Tuesday (July 2).

In this video, Agricultural Extension Agent III Mark Warren shares with the Levy County Board of County Commissioners that he and his wife are renting in the area now, but they plan buy a home after they sell their Flagler County home. Warren is the new Extension agent who replaces the now-retired Anthony Drew.

     Warren replaces the now-retired University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Agent Anthony Drew, who was renowned for his work with row crops such as peanuts, watermelon and corn.
     Like Drew, Warren also is listed for work with the Master Gardner program and 4-H.
     County Coordinator Wilbur Dean introduced Warren, mentioning that Drew retired a year ago.
     Dean mentioned that he and the County Commission spoke with Levy County Extension Director Ed Jennings about replacing Agent Drew.
    The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which is the guiding agency for all 67 county Extension offices in Florida, had a hiring freeze, Dean mentioned.
     Levy County leaders worked with UF/IFAS Extension Senior Associate Dean and Associate Director Thomas A. Obreza, Dean said, and this resulted in Levy County having a row crop specialist to fill the vacated position – where several Florida counties do not.
     With agriculture being one of the top three revenue producers for Levy County, UF/IFAS must have recognized the need exists here.
      Warren said he sees a shocked look on people’s faces when he is introduced as Drew’s replacement, and he said he will work on ramping up his attitude some. Drew was known for his direct, no-nonsense commentary, as well as for his love and passion for educating people about growing crops.
     Like Director Jennings, Warren appears to have a relatively strong background in livestock production. He has served in the Extension offices in Flagler and Putnam counties.


Group Quit is available
to assist people
with quitting tobacco use

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 4, 2019 at 7:39 a.m.
      FLORIDA --
The Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) of Florida have several resources to help people quit using tobacco products.
      The AHEC program has two course types: single session (meeting once) and multisession (meeting once a week for several weeks).
     They will provide participants with the valuable tools to aid individuals in quitting tobacco.
     These tools include: preparing to quit tobacco with a quit plan; learning strategies and skills to deal with nicotine cravings to remain tobacco-free; dealing with slips away from the quit program; having the opportunity to share your experience with others in a friendly, respectful and supportive group setting; as well as FREE patches, gum, or lozenges -- if medically appropriate.
     To find courses in your area, enter your county, city, or zip code in the search box and click the Update button at the top of the calendar at this website
     Click on any of the courses that display to get more details.
     Below is one example of what is shown when people look for a place in Levy County:

This shows a screen shot of what can be seen. It reflects that the single-session program to provide tools such as a quit plan, learning strategies, free patches and more. It shows the event is at the Tri-County Community Resource Center, 15 N. Main St., in Chiefland on Aug. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. It shows that all attendees must call 866-341-2730 to reserve a spot, because all attendees must reserve a spot.

     The Suwannee River AHEC shows an extensive list of places and times in July, which includes the cropped screenshot of some of them below.

Dixie County

     One of the best places to start for participants is Please remember that pre-registration by calling 866-341-2730 is required to participate.

Gilchrist County Rotary Club
rings in the New Year

Gilchrist Rotary 2019-20 Officers
Gilchrist County
(back row) Jo Buckles, Aaron Haynes, Bob Clemons, Lowell Chesborough, John Frazier, Rick Washburn and Damon Leggett, and (front row) Chef Assistant (special helper) Lunabelle Mas-Fowler, Holly Creel and Patricia Knight, and (not pictured) Todd Gray, Mike Lakner, Michael Faught and Charlie Smith.

Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published July 3, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
     TRENTON --
What? New Year in July?
     Yes, that's correct! Rotary Clubs around the world officially begin their new year on July 1. Our club in Gilchrist County did just that on Monday, July 1, at the Woman's Club in Trenton as President Bob Clemons delivered an inspiring program to set the tone for the upcoming year of Service Above Self.
     Each year, Rotary has a new theme and logo and for 2019-20 the theme is "Rotary Connects The World." President Clemons explained that 2019-20 Rotary International President Mark Maloney chose this theme as an incentive to bring Rotarians around the world together, thereby increasing membership and diversity in Rotary Clubs.
     Rotarian President Elect Lowell Chesborough noted this theme is appropriate because, in his travels to other countries, being a Rotarian opens the door to meeting new and interesting people who often are Rotarians, as well.
     President Clemons’ first order of business was to install new officers for this coming year.
     The officers for 2019-20 are: President Elect Lowell Chesborough, Secretary John Frazier, Treasurer Charlie Smith, Sergeant-At-Arms Damon Leggett, Club Administrator Jo Buckles, Rotary Foundation Patricia Knight, Club Membership Todd Gray, IT Support Mike Lakner, Club Service Michael Faught, Public Relations and Program Support Holly Creel, and Aaron Haynes as Past President.
     Rick Washburn will serve as our President Elect for 2021-22.
     As you may recall, Bob Clemons served as our Rotary President year before last and we are so fortunate to have him back for another year. Previously when Bob was president, he led us with the word “inspiration” and challenged us to be inspiring. This year Bob challenged us with the word “enthusiasm” - that enthusiasm is what changes everything and encourages others.
     Jo Buckles, who is known for her infectious enthusiasm, said one of her favorite phrases is "Enthusiasm is caught, not taught!" So true! Be on the lookout for very enthusiastic Gilchrist Rotarians this year as we work to support our community, the world, and each other!
     It was apropos that our luncheon was coordinated with the theme of Rotary Connects the World as we dined on delicious traditional and Greek gyros, watermelon salad, mini-cupcakes and sweet and unsweetened tea served by Chef Jason of Spring Water Events. Chef Jason had a special helper to make the luncheon patriotic and beautiful. Lunabelle Mas-Fowler (granddaughter of Denise Fowler) arranged all of the place settings in red, white and blue in celebration of Independence Day on July 4th. Lunabelle, who has a beautiful smile, is very careful to set everything up just perfectly - what a delightful addition to this first meeting of our Rotary New Year! Thank you, Lunabelle!



Elder Options expands
Healthy Aging programs

Published June 24, 2019 at 1:09 p.m.
Thanks to a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation, Elder Options will be expanding programs such as fall prevention classes, chronic disease self-management, and Tai Chi, to assist more Floridians as they enter the later stages of life.
     Elder Options recently announced the receipt of a two-year grant from the Retirement Research Foundation, based in Chicago, to fund the position of a Volunteer Coordinator for Elder Options’ Healthy Aging programs.
     The volunteer coordinator will help to expand Healthy Aging programs including diabetes and other chronic disease self-management workshops, fall prevention, Tai Chi and other programs. These programs help decrease health care costs while improving the quality of life for participants.
     Both staff members and volunteers are scheduled to lead the workshops, and previous graduates have said they are enthusiastic about their increased knowledge in managing their own health.
     The Volunteer Coordinator will be instrumental in extending the reach of programming into the more rural counties that Elder Options serves.
     This is the second grant that Elder Options has received from the Foundation.
      Elder Options is a non-profit agency that has served as the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging (AAA) since 1977, and provides programs to seniors throughout its 16-county, 12,000 square-mile service area. Elder Options receives most of its funding from the Florida State Department of Elder Affairs, and serves as the steward of funds for other non-profit organizations that deliver programs such as home-delivered meals, adult daycare, legal services and other benefits to senior citizens in the service area.
     Because state government funds are limited to specific purposes, Elder Options began seeking support from private foundations four years ago to increase and improve programs to seniors in its service area.
     “This new grant from the Retirement Research Foundation is important because it will allow us to increase the number of Healthy Aging classes that are so important to improving and maintaining the health and well-being of our region’s senior population,” , Executive Director of Elder Options Kristen Griffis said. “It will also allow us to get more volunteers involved in the work of Elder Options.”
     For more information about Healthy Aging programs or how to see some of these classes in action, please contact Betty Flagg at or 352-692-5219.



     On Feb. 1, 2011, came to exist 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 byt he 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 emeregency orthopedic surgery on bones in his left arm and wrist. That 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

July 18, 2019  Thursday at 11:09 a.m.


Read Ephesians 6:10–20; Romans 8:11

     Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
-- Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)

     It’s because of my damned mother. I can’t have any fun.” The speaker was a soldier on furlough. The audience was Chaplain Jesse Halsey. The two weeks’ furlough was about ended. Soon the veteran would be back in the front lines. He had set out at night to find whiskey and a woman. But memories of his mother kept him from whiskey and harlots. Though he used a soldier’s strong language to describe her, he was actually proud of her and could not let her down. Knowing his mother was noble, he was held back from treating other women ignobly.
     Isn’t that the kind of control that strong people want - inner power for self-control? There’s no doubt about one thing. Every normal person has to fight temptation. But there is a way to win. It is fairly easy to think straight and to do right when in church or at home. But service men and women can’t duck into a church or run home every time temptation assails them. We must learn how to carry our church and home inside our hearts. Our defenses have to be within our own lives. The silliness of trusting outer strongholds alone is shown by the tragedies of Singapore and Maginot Line. Their big guns were pointing the wrong way when the crisis struck. And they had depended upon strong outer fortifications to save them. John said, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Let the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you!
     HEAVENLY FATHER, Thou art my refuge and strength. I know I am not able to beat down temptation if I have to do it alone. I want the irresistible Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead to dwell in my heart. Come in, Spirit of God, to my heart and take control. Grant me spiritual power, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Dr. Floyd Allan Bash Sr. (1885-1953)
Central Christian Church
San Antonio, Texas

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 15, 2019 at 7:09 p.m.

     The summer can be slow for bass fishermen. The water is warm and the oxygen that fish need for peak activity is not found in warmer water. Therefore they tend to go deeper or become more active when the days are at their coolest. That’s why early in the morning is some of the best time to be on the lake or river. My favorite way to start is by being ready to cast my first bait when the sun is barely peeking over the horizon. One must take advantage of every minute the fish are active because in the summer those minutes are few. As many of you know, my favorite way to wake bass up this time of year is with a top water bait. The sound of this plug echoes for unknown distances at the break of day and each plop signals to the fisherman to be ready for what might be lurking just below the surface. The combination of sight and sound can at times be just too much for nearby bass to ignore. And for the fisherman, the crash of water just behind that bait can also be as addictive as well.  Once you see and hear that unique moment, you will place it in its own mental compartment, and nothing will ever join it.
     Thankfully there are other moments that deserve their own special place. I imagine me making a file and labeling it with that moment but never adding anything else to the file except that which caused me to make it in the first place. It’s like making a folder on your computer for certain types of pictures or documents and only finding one picture or document that fits in the folder. In one way you are hoping for other occasions to add to the folder, but it seems that nothing ever fits like that first file. There are a few things like that in my life. A first degree. A first accomplishment. A first purchase. All of these things were so special to me then and still hold their own special place today. But what really matters are not fish or firsts but moments when someone wrote something or said something that caused me to change into a better man. It was a sentence that wowed me. It was a lesson that challenged me. It was a gesture that took me aback. You see while things like these may deserve a place in their own folder; unlike fish and firsts, their benefits continue not just as motivation but as actual ingredients that mold me every day. So, this week don’t forget that while you are making memories someone needs you to become a good one for them.

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

THURSDAY  JULY 18   10:49 p.m.
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