Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  March 11, 2019
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, March 12, 2019


Trenton’s 13th Annual
Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival
draws people to downtown

Trenton Quilt SHow 2019
Vivian Driscoll, Michael Downing, Sheryl Brown and Denise Hudson of the Gilchrist County Chamber of Commerce stand at the ready to greet all the visitors to the annual Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival held in Trenton. They handed out bags and a list of all of the vendors to the public.

Story and Photos
By Sharon Hardison © March 17, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
     TRENTON --
Trenton’s 13th Annual Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival attracted a crowd of people to the downtown area of this municipal seat of Gilchrist County government on Saturday (March 16 from).
     The 13th Annual Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival, Florida’s only outdoor quilt show and sale, was complete with crafts, antiques, and quilting displays.
      The annual event is sponsored by the City of Trenton, the Gilchrist County’s Tourist Development Council, the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe, Trenton ACE Hardware, plus other businesses and individuals from the Tri-County Area.






Trenton Quilt SHow 2019
Trenton Department of Public Safety Officer David Reeves keeps traffic flowing and pedestrians safe at the beginning of festival row.

Trenton Quilt Show 2019
Two rows of booths lined up back-to-back stretch down Main Street in Trenton on Saturday. There were more than 80 vendors participating in the event.

Trenton Quilt Show 2019
Members of the For Vets organization had a beautiful Statue of Liberty quilt they were raffling off. Mary Ann Mulvey and Karen Richardson were on hand to explain the Camp Valor Project at Otter Springs Park and Campground. Their fifth-year celebration is April 13. Please see the ad to the right on any of the pages of for more information.

Trenton Quilt Show 2019
Antique tractors line up at the front of the Crystal Ice House located near the Trenton Train Depot.

Trenton Quilt Show 2019
The GCSO Mobile Command Center is seen (above), and (below) Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz speaks with two other leaders in public safety for Trenton and Gilchrist County -- Chief of Trenton Public Safety
Matthew Rexroat and Gilchrist County Emergency Operations Chief James Campbell of Fire-Rescue and Emergency Management.
These leaders are all part of the bigger team, which protects life and property throughout Gilchrist County.

Trenton Quilt Fest 2019
From Cuffs and Collars to flamboyant felines, the Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival had something for everyone on Saturday March 16). Hand-made furniture, crafts, needlework, paintings, chimes – it was a wonderful celebration of artists and their craft. Local service organizations were on hand also to spread the good news about their successes.

Trenton Quilt Fest 2019
Many quilts adorned the railings and were hung within the Trenton Train Depot on Saturday.

Trenton Quilt Fest 2019
Barn Quilts are a wonderful phenomenon happening all over the United States. While its roots go back to Colonial America, it was revived in Ohio in 2001. If you like seeing these works of art, there are websites describing Trails of Squares in many states including Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, New York and New Jersey. Here is the link for the Florida Barn Quilt Trail
Trenton Quilt Fest 2019
Sandy Lindfors is an amazing artist. One whole room in the Florida Quilt Museum highlighted her quilting works during the Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival. The displays are whimsical, colorful and there is beauty in each one.


Chiefland Students Honored
Chiefland Students Adrian Furment Jada Cooper Commissioner Rollin Hudson
Chiefland City Commissioner Rollin Hudson is seen with Adrian Furment of Chiefland Middle School and Jada Cooper of Chiefland High School on Monday night (March 11) in City Hall. Furment, the son of Shannon Igesias is an eighth grader. He was noted for his hard work, dedication to his peers and being very polite. Cooper, a ninth grader, is the daughter of Georgia Norman. She was noted for her good attitude, always being respectful and for helping other students who are struggling with their work.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © March 15, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.


Williston Police and
Fire Departments'
2018 Awards Banquet
honors many public servants

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
Beyond the members of the Williston Fire Rescue Department and the Williston Police Department, another set of agencies was honored Friday night (March 8). Seen here for their agencies assistance during parades in Williston are (from left) the plaques’ presenter WPD Chief Dennis Strow, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Daniel A. DeWeese, Ocala Police Department Chief Greg Graham, Dunnellon Police Department Chief Mike McQuaig and Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods.

Information and Photos
Provided By Brooke Willis
And Chief Dennis Strow
And Chief Lamar Stegall
Published March 14, 2019 at 12:29 p.m.
The Friday night (March 8) Williston Police and Fire Department 2018 Awards Banquet honored many deserving men and women who give their time, talents and other treasures in service to the residents and visitors of Williston.
     The Williston Police Department is led by Police Chief Dennis Strow and the Williston Fire Rescue Department is led by Fire Chief Lamar Stegall.
     Following are notations and photos from the people who were honored that night.

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
(from left) Kerry Maddox, Brooke Willis and Jimmy Willis Jr. are joined by the widow of the late Cpl. Davd W. Moss Lori Moss are seen after the presentation of the award.


     The late WPD Cpl. David W. Moss died in the line of duty on July 30, 1988. He is the only WPD officer to have died in the line of duty. Cpl. Moss touched the community and still does, Chief Strow has said.
     The 2018 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award went to Jimmy Willis Jr., his wife Brooke Willis and Kerry Maddox.
     Chief Strow said this trio has created The Money Pit Barbecue, where they have fundraisers to help people. They do not make money through the venture, but they generate funds to help people and families.
     They have helped families, for instance, when a family member is fighting cancer.
      Former Williston Police Chief Dan Davis came up with this award, which includes a fingerprint from the late corporal.

     This award goes to the person selected by both Police Chief Strow and Fire Chief Stegall.
     Brooke Ellzey Willis earned the 2018 Chiefs’ Award, Chief Strow said in a telephone interview with on March 13 due to the publisher being called away from covering the March 8 banquet.
    WPD Administrative Assistant-Records Supervisor-Evidence Custodian Willis serves both chiefs, Strow said, in a similar fashion. As for her duties with the WPD, her work ethic has allowed Chief Strow to eliminate a position so that she does the work of two people just for his department.
     Chief Stegall said Willis’ efforts are greatly appreciated in the Fire Department, where she provides administrative assistant support as well as all of the human resources duties for the WFR.

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
WPD Deputy Chief Clay Connolly looks on as Chief Dennis Strow presents the Life-Saving Award to the Rev. Charlz Caulwell.


     The Rev. Charlz Caulwell is a multi-year winner of WPD awards, as are some other members of this metropolitan police force.
     On March 24, 2017, Rev. Caulwell was on duty at the school crossing on Levy County Road 316 in front of the Williston Middle High School.
     The Rev. Caulwell had stopped traffic to allow students to cross when he observed a vehicle that was not stopping. Rev. Caldwell pushed a child out of the path of the car, putting himself in harm’s way.
     This brave public servant was struck by the car, which resulted in injuries to himself.

     The 2018 WFR Firefighter of the Year is Matthew Batton.
     The Firefighter of the Year award stands for excellence, determination, work ethic, leadership and dedication to Williston Fire Rescue, and the people served by this department.
     Batton went above and beyond the call of duty, to help the WFR and those in need.  This annual award recipient is selected by his or her peers.
     As Chief Stegall read over the nominations, he discovered that choosing the Firefighter of the Year is a tough decision for the WFR personnel.
     “This young man worked extremely hard on improving our department,” Stegall said. “He works diligently to keep all of our equipment ready at a moment’s notice. He has constantly gone above and beyond with helping others.”

     The 2018 WPD Police Officer of the Year is Rich Peters.
      Chief Strow said the Police Officer of the Year should be productive, cooperative, poised and dedicated to the overall mission of the Police Department.
     “He or she should be mindful of the vision of the chief and the culture of community policing,” Strow said. “Rich Peters is all of these things and he looks for ways to do his job better and, to nobody’s surprise, he does.
     “Most recently, Rich has dedicated himself to become a K-9 handler and recently completed that training. His instructors lauded Rich for working well with the dog and the rest of the class to everyone’s benefit. This type of teamwork is the hallmark of an Officer of the Year.”

Fire Officer of the Year
Fire Officer of the Year Lt. Tony Moos (center)


     The 2018 WFR Fire Officer of the Year is Lt. Tony Moos.
     This award recognizes a fire officer with the WFR who holds the rank of lieutenant or above, whose acts and deeds have demonstrated a commitment to serve their profession, their department, and their community as a fire officer.
     This officer has shown an exceptional commitment of leadership, dedication, and valuable contributions towards their fellow firefighters through training, leadership, safety, and preserving life and property.
     “Tony exhibits the qualities of a leader, whether on the fire grounds or the administrative platform,” Chief Stegall said. “His leadership is hallmarked by his abilities to work through problems by utilizing strong interpersonal skills and seamless communications. He is calm under pressure and reassuring to those in his presence.”

James Bond
2018 Reserve Officer of the Year Sgt. James Bond (center)

     The 2018 WPD Reserve Officer of Year is Sgt. James Bond.
     Bond “retired” last year to pursue his contracting business. To the great relief of Chief Strow, Bond remained with the WPD as a reserve officer.
     “As you may know, we have no budget to pay reserves,” Chief Strow said. “So, frequently they are not as available as we would like. Not so, James Bond! When officers go on vacation, to training or other events that require an officer to work a shift, Mr. Bond is usually available.
     “He does so with many years of police insight and experience,” Strow continued, “which means he requires little supervision. The requirements for Reserve Officer of the Year mirror those for the Full Time Officer of the Year. Mr. Bond exemplifies those same virtues.”

     The 2018 Communications Officer of the Year is Colleen Stevens.
     The communications officers in Williston dispatch both the WPD and the WFR.
     Stevens is the dispatch supervisor. She has earned this award several years.
     “Her skills are above reproach, she shares her knowledge and experience with others and she looks to work outside the box,” both chiefs noted.
     She has maintained the scheduling, training and recruitment of dispatchers, an issue which has been complicated via state legislation in the past 10 years. Regardless of any issues, Stevens maintains a competent and productive dispatch staff. She communicates well with her counterparts on the Levy County Sheriff’s Office’s 9-1-1 dispatch service as well.

Rookie Firefighter of the Year
Rookie Firefighter of the Year Jake Marrall

     The 2018 WFR Rookie Firefighter of the Year is Jake Marrall.
     “When I think about this year’s recipient of the Rookie of the Year award,” Chief Stegall said, “many words immediately come to mind. Such words as ‘commitment’, ‘giving’, ‘dependable’, ‘humble’ and ‘family-oriented’, to name a few.
     The word that stands out the most, to me, is ‘commitment’,” Stegall continued. “When this young man commits to something, you can rest assured the job will get done. It is very common to see him offering an opinion or suggestion when it comes to training, meetings or activities.”
     The chief noted this firefighter is very involved in the regular operations within the department.
     “For example,” Chief Stegall said, “if he sees something that needed to be done at the station, his attitude would be, let’s get it done -- rather than waiting for someone to tell him do it. The same was true if you needed help. A simple phone call would result in him coming to the station or your home, to help out however he could.”

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
Fire Chief Lamar Stegall (left) and Police Chief Dennis Strow flank John Salmeier.

     The 2018 WPD-WFR Civilian of the Year is John Salmeier.
     Technically, he is listed on the budget as a dispatcher, which is a great part of his job. In truth Salmeier is that” go to guy” who wears multiple hats which, the chiefs noted, makes him invaluable across a broad range of tasks. These may include light I.T. responsibilities, event coordination, construction projects, electronic repair, social media management, press releases, equipment acquisition, building maintenance, vehicle maintenance and a host of other unspecified tasks, which no one else can or wants to do.
     “John is mission-minded and always strives to please,” the chiefs noted

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
Honored for the Call of the Year are Capt. Jimmy Willis Jr., Lt. Kenny Maddox and firefighter Stephen Burnett (seen with plaques on left) and (not pictured) firefighters Tim Murphy and Todd Peacock.


     On May 13, 2018, there was the Cracker Saw Mill Fire.
     The Call of the year award is given to one or more of the firefighters for outstanding performance in an emergency.
     In the past, Chief Stegall said, this award has been given for calls such as delivering a baby in the middle of the night with the patient lying in the yard, a multiple-vehicle accident with multiple extrications performed by one firefighter while others attended to the injured.
     This year, it goes to the WFR members responding to the Cracker Saw Mill Fire. They are Capt. Jimmy Willis Jr., Lt. Kenny Maddox and firefighters Tim Murphy, Stephen Burnett and Todd Peacock.

     Three vehicle crashes in 2018 required extensive extrication to save the lives of people. The firefighters involved in those actions were recognized with awards. Those men were Capt. Jimmy Willis Jr., Lt. Larry Neal, Lt. Brent Stegall, and firefighters Todd Peacock, Ethan Standridge, Chad Williams, Jake Marrall and Matthew Batton.

     Jimmy Willis Sr. earned the 2018 Distinguished Volunteer Service Medal.
     This award is one for the volunteer who selflessly gives of their time and talents to the WPD on behalf of the residents and visitors of Williston.
     This volunteer performs special tasks, helping officers to be free to handle law enforcement duties. This year’s recipient also distinguishes himself by volunteering for his church and other civic tasks.

Williston Police And Fire Awards Levy County Florida
The 2018 WPD Auxiliary Officer of the Year Award goes to the Rev. Charlz Caulwell (center) and he is seen here with WPD Chief Dennis Strow (left) and Deputy Chief Clay Connolly.

     The 2018 WPD Auxiliary Officer of the Year Award goes to the Rev. Charlz Caulwell.
     “This man serves as our chaplain, records gopher, parking attendant, funeral and parade escorts, eyes and ears on the street and school crossing guard,” Chief Strow said.
     The only thing the city actually pays him to do is to help children safely cross the street from school.
     “But the Rev. Caulwell volunteers hundreds, and maybe thousands of hours each year at a huge savings to the citizens of Williston,” Strow said. “He has done this for years and it would be impossible to calculate all that he has given to us. We would like to thank him for that service nonetheless.”

     The 2018 WFR Most Improved Firefighter is Jared Caswell.
     The Most Improved Firefighter is given to a firefighter with more than two years as a member of Williston Fire Rescue, that has shown the most improvement in training, leadership and responsibility.
     “When this year’s recipient first joined our department,” Chief Stegall said, “I had some doubts as to his commitment to our department and the fire service. He is becoming a true leader, up for any challenge and very dependable.”

     The advancements in rank in 2018, the years of service (including the 30-Year Award for WPD Chief Deputy Clay Connolly) and other special awards were also presented Friday night.

     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: While Publisher Jeff M. Hardison has covered the WPD-WFR Annual Awards Banquet on several occasions, this year there were demands that caused the gentleman to regretfully decline the invitation at the last minute. Thanks to Brooke Willis, Chief Dennis Strow and Chief Lamar Stegall, though, the event was able to be covered to a degree. (Thanks, WPD and WFR.)

Grace Ella McDonald
passes away
just shy of 103 years old

Grace McDonald
Grace Ella McDonald

Photo Provided

Published March 12, 2019 at 11:09 p.m.
Grace Ella McDonald missed her 103rd birthday by 20 days.
     Born March 24, 1916 to Sloan and Alice Campbell in a little house on a large farm in Anderson, South Carolina, she peacefully went to be with the Lord while residing at the Tri-County Nursing Home on March 4.
     She was often heard singing You Are My Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me and O How I Love Jesus during her final days.
     Miss Grace moved to Florida when she was young and resided mostly in Palm Beach and Dixie counties. Her beloved husband Frank McDonald is interred in Old Town Cemetery and awaits his bride to be at his side once again.
     Besides operating midway games and concessions at carnivals for several years throughout the United States, the McDonalds owned several business interests in Dixie County, the first being Mandy's Fruit and Gift Shop.
     Later they owned and operated Old Town Gift and Pawn Shop as well as other smaller ventures. Following her husband's passing, Miss Grace operated Capt. Ron's Bar, Game Room and Wholesale/Resale Seafood business (currently the Salt Creek Restaurant) in the Town of Suwannee during the 1980s.
     She is survived by her only child, Capt. Ronald Lee (Krista) Campbell of Old Town, five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren, one great-great-great grandson and many nieces and nephews all in Florida and Ohio.
     A "Celebration of Life" service will be at the Tri-County Nursing Home, 7280 S.W. State Road 26, Trenton, FL 32693 on Monday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Interment will be at a later date.
     Publisher's Note: To see the article and photographs about her 102nd birthday click HERE.


Levy County Democrats
want equal rights for women

Levy County Democrats and Rep. Charlie Stone
(from left) Brandon Peters, Stacey Peters, State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22), Gussie M Boatwright and Deborah Goad are seen on Tuesday (March 12) in Tallahassee. Members of the Democratic Women's Club of Levy County (DWCLC) met recently and the Levy County Democratic Executive Committee concur that the Equal Rights Amendment should be ratified. Levy County constituents are seen with Rep. Stone during Tally Days in Tallahassee. The DWCLC visited Tallahassee in support of passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Rep. Stone has not provided with his comments on the ERA yet.

Photo by Amy Gernhardt

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 12, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
At least five Levy County constituents of State Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22) went to Tallahassee Monday and Tuesday (March 11 and 12) to share their thoughts with their representative about state matters.
     One of those issues is the potential for the United States government to add an amendment to the United States Constitution to give equal rights to women – the Equal Rights Amendment.
     During the Saturday (March 9) meeting of the Levy County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) and the Democratic Women's Club of Levy County (DWCLC), a group of constituents chose to go to Tallahassee to hand-deliver a letter to Rep. Stone, which endorses him voting “Yes” on HCR 209 and HCR 255.
     HCR stands for House Concurrent Resolution and that means it would match with a similar bill in the Florida Senate.
     The letter notes the opinion that “For far too long, the policy priorities of the Florida Legislature have not reflected the unique needs and interests of women. This legislative session is your opportunity to be an effective advocate on their behalf.
     These constituents are urging Rep. Stone to co-sponsor and support legislation approving the Equal Rights Amendment, including HCR 209 and HCR 255, which is now pending in the Florida House of Representatives.
     “Thirty-seven states have adopted legislation approving the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment),” the letter notes. “Only one more state needs to ratify it to make the ERA part of the U.S. Constitution.
     “Florida has the opportunity to take the historic and courageous step of adopting the ERA and making it the law of the land,” the letter continued.
     This House Concurrent Resolution calls for ratifying the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to equal rights for men and women.
     It notes that “… during the Second Session of the Ninety-second Congress of the United States of America, by a constitutional majority of two-thirds, both houses approved the Equal Rights Amendment.”
     The HCR notes that on March 22, 1972, this proposed amendment to the United States Constitution was sent to the states for ratification.
     Article V of the United States Constitution authorizes the Legislature of Florida to ratify proposed amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
     As noted, 37 of the necessary 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.
     The HCR notes that “… constitutional equality for men and women continues to be timely in the United States and worldwide, and many other nations have achieved constitutional equality for their men and women.
     Given the Florida Senate concurs, then the Florida Legislature would agree that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex (gender).”


Two divisions, three judges,
and seven competitors are
the recipe for the
2019 Mr. Loran's BBQ Contest

Sam Mills and Hannah Quincey SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Hannah Quincey and Sam Mills, both of Chiefland High School FFA, provide a photo opportunity for a few seconds while they were both paying attention to their grills too.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 11, 2019 at 1:09 p.m.
The Sixth Annual Mr. Loran's BBQ Contest on Sunday afternoon (March 10) showed pork steaks as the meat being cooked for the first time.

Gilchrist County Extension Director and 4H Agent Jessica Cooper
Gilchrist County Interim Extension Director and 4-H Agent Jessica Cooper cooks hamburgers behind the concession stand at the Suwannee River Fair Youth Livestock Show and Sale (SRF) on Sunday afternoon (March 10). This year’s Mr. Loran's BBQ Contest superintendents were Dixie County Extension Director and 4-H Agent Holly Houghton and Levy County 4-H Agent Genevieve Mendoza. While Agent Cooper was not a supervisor for the barbecue contest this year, she was active as a barbecuer herself, and she rounds out the Tri-County Area 4-H agent force from Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties for the SRF.

     Previous versions of this annual event at the Suwannee River Fair Youth Livestock Show and Sale were dominated by chicken as the meat being cooked, although steak was the meat for the 2017 and 2018 contests.
     This year’s contest superintendents were Dixie County Extension Director Holly Houghton and Levy County 4-H Agent Genevieve Mendoza.
     This year’s judges were Bud Sharp, Lint Jerrels and Frank Bussard.
     As in all past years, the winners in this competition are announced at the awards night event.
     In the 2019 Mr. Loran's Barbecue Contest, the SRF website notes that ribbons and prizes are awarded at the discretion of the Suwannee River Youth Fair. CHAMPION - One Belt Buckle Champion will be selected based on total score, regardless of age division.
     There are seven competitors this year, with five in the junior division and two in the senior division.

Sam Mills BBQ Contest 2019
Sam Mills

Hannah Quincey SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Hannah Quincey

     Sam Mills, 16, and Hannah Quincey, 17, both of Chiefland High School FFA are the two barbecue cooks in the senior division. They have faced each other in this contest before, and while they both were able to express polite and funny jabs at each other Sunday afternoon, these two competitors set the bar for good sportsmanship in senior division competitive youth barbecue cooking competition.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Tucker Baynard smiles as his charcoal fire shows a proper start.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Tucker Baynard stands next to his grill as it smokes.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Brody Ellis stands in his cooking station, wearing a dapper blue apron that matches the grill lid and tablecloth. All of the barbecue cooks took care with their appearance as well as with the skills they demonstrated.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Rance Moxley observes the start of his fire.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Rance Moxley brings the selected pork steaks to his cooking station.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Chase Parker stand by his grill, where the charcoals have begun turning white after ignition.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Landon Rollison stand by his grill soon after ignition on Sunday afternoon.

SRF BBQ Contest 2019
Landon Rollison holds a piece of corn-on-the-cob during the cooking procedure.

     In the junior division, the cooks were Tucker Baynard 13, of both Kountry Bumpkins 4-H and Chiefland Middle School Jr. FFA; Brody Ellis, 12, of Chiefland Middle School Jr. FFA; Rance Moxley, 13, of Williston Middle High School Jr. FFA; Chase Parker, of Dixie County Middle High School Jr. FFA; and Landon Rollison, 13 of Dixie County Middle High School Jr. FFA;
     The judges faced a very difficult task as they watched all of the cooks.
     Sharp, Jerrels and Bussard determined points in regard to cooking skills, sensory evaluation and participant preparation.
     As for cooking skills, there was a review of equipment and utensils. Were they: practical? efficient? complicated? timely? appropriately arranged?
     Was there cleanup of work area and equipment? Yes or No.
     Was the appearance and cleanliness of the person satisfactory and appropriate before and during cooking? How about their apron and other attire?
     Of course, to barbecue, the fire and smoke factors are important.
     Did the contestant demonstrate skill in starting the fire?
     Was the method safe? Was extra fuel needed after initial ignition?
     In regard to controlling fire, was person skilled in controlling it? Was there excessive smoke or flame?
     Fire and heat control are very important when cooking pork.
     Did the cook demonstrate overall cooking skills?
     De he or she show they known how to safely use a knife? Did the cook trim excess fat from the pork steak?
     Did the contestant demonstrate safe handling of uncooked pork? Did the cook demonstrate a safe marinating-rubbing technique?
     In regard to the participants’ skill in barbecuing, did the cook start with skin side up? Was the meat turned before blistering? Was the meat stuck to the grill? Was food safety observed?
     Each cook was allowed to cook two pork steaks. They each chose the one of those two steaks to let the judges sample.
     Judges checked each steak submitted for their rulings in regard to their sensory evaluation.
     In regard to appearance, judges considered the color, uniformity, burnt, or if it was speckled with ash.
     As for the texture, they considered if the pork steak was chewy, tough, tender, rubbery, as well as if it was too juicy, too dry or just right for moisture.
     Judges considered the flavors of the prepared pork, including how the marinate-rub worked with the barbecue effort.
     Was there an off flavor, such as the taste of charcoal lighter fuel? Just how good was the barbecue flavor?
     As for participant preparation, was the participant on time? Did he or she correctly complete the registration? Was the project record sheet completed correctly?
     The competition was strong, and the requirements were tough; however, from all appearances Sunday afternoon, the cooks enjoyed this contest.
     To see the 2016 story about this event, click HERE.
     To see the 2017 story and photos about this event, click HERE.
     The former newsmobile for was destroyed in a crash as the intrepid, prolific and illustrious journalist was on the way to cover Mr. Loran's BBQ Contest in 2018.
     Mr. Loran's BBQ Contest is named in honor of Loran Brookins, longtime president of the Suwannee River Fair Youth Livestock Show & Sale.

Registration for
'Man Up!' is here

Published March 7, 2019 at 11:07 a.m.
     OLD TOWN --
A low-cost event where men can enjoy a weekend retreat is open again for two weekends, and the time to register is now.
     Camp Anderson Director William Bloodworth has visited men's groups, as well as advertised the Man Up! Men's Retreat.
     "This is a great retreat for the men to reach, mentor and connect with the young men, family members and coworkers and to spiritually make a difference with the next generation of Men!" Bloodworth noted in a March 2 email.
     The camp director wants to see as many men as possible enjoy this opportunity in 2019.
     He is calling upon wives, mothers and sisters to help their favorite men.
     "Ladies… get your Men and young men signed up for this event….they need it!" Bloodworth noted.
     There are two weekend dates this year, March 22-24 and March 29-31. Pastor R.V. Brown will headline both events with special guest Terry Rainey and Brandon Emerson.
     The camp director noted that back by popular demand, there will be the Concealed Weapon, Carry Weapon Class, the skeet-shooting event as well as all the other activities such as paintball, and high-fence safari.
     As Bloodworth has made his tour of the area's men's groups he has noted there will be "bacon, gunpower, good music and excellent speakers."
     All men are invited to bring their sons and grandsons with them.
     The cost is $99 for the weekend (which covers everything). The cost is $79 for men who don't stay in a cabin on site.
     "You don’t have to pay when you register," Bloodworth noted, "and you can wait and bring your payment with you when your arrive if that works best for you. We have sponsorships available for financial need.
     Active duty military, police, fire and EMS are all free this year.
     Sign up right now by clicking HERE.


Timber Harvesting Equipment
program at CF for third year;

Deadline to apply is April 19 
Published Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:39 a.m.
The College of Central Florida is scheduled to offer an eight-week Timber Harvesting Equipment program May 6 through June 27 at the Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus, 15390 N.W. U.S. Highway 19, north of Chiefland.
     Classes meet Monday through Thursday in the morning for the first five weeks and then for a full day the last three weeks.
     The program is open to 12 students and includes classroom instruction and field trips to local logging companies and mills. Students will receive OSHA-10 and CPR certification. Upon completion of five weeks, students will be registered for the Master Logger Certification course and exam.
     The final three weeks of the program will include on-site training and cover harvesting a section of timber donated by the Florida Forestry Association using a skidder, fellow-buncher and loader. Support is offered through industry partnerships with Usher Land and Timber, Loncala Inc. and the Florida Department of Forestry.
     Due to a generous scholarship, students can attend the program for free. The program includes all assessments required for registration, textbooks, fees, personal protective equipment and tuition
     Students must be at least 18 years old to participate. Deadline to submit an application is Friday, April 19.
     Applications can be picked up at the Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus. For more information, contact Leah Gamble at 352-658-4077.


Advanced Welding Technologies
program to be offered at CF Levy

Published Feb. 2, 2019 at 11:19 a.m.
The College of Central Florida is scheduled to offer an Advanced Welding Technologies Certificate program starting in the fall at the CF Jack Wilkinson (Levy County) Campus.
     The program focuses on pipe welding and provides an opportunity to earn three additional high-skill certifications in the pipe-welding process.
     Students who have completed CF’s Welding program or students who have completed another welding program and can demonstrate the skills necessary for the advanced process through certification are eligible. The program can be completed in one and half semesters, if attending full time.
     For more information, contact Leah Gamble at 352-658-4077 or

Community Scholarship
Program opens

By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 20, 2019 at 10:39 p.m.
People on a low income or a fixed income in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties are eligible to apply for the new Tri-County Community Resource Center's Scholarship Program.
     Tri-County Community Resource Center Manager Beverly Goodman said this scholarship meets needs that may go unanswered from other scholarships.
     This program is for any student aged 16 and older who can present proof of a need to meet education expenses; certification costs; needed job-related equipment; educational supplies; or transportation.
     There is $1,000 available in 2019, Goodman said, and these scholarships are for up to $250. However, they can be for less.
     If a student in the logging equipment program needs steel-toed boots, for instance, she said, then the student can apply for the scholarship to pay for those boots. These funds can cover the cost of CNA scrubs, or the cost for a CNA test or for GED-related expenses.
     Goodman asks all interested students to call 352-407-4000 for more information.


Options to quit using tobacco
exist in Levy, Dixie
and Gilchrist counties

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 1, 2019 at 10:09 p.m.
Kristina Zachry, MPH, a community health advocate in Levy County and a tobacco prevention specialist with the QuitDoc Foundation, recently sent dates, times and places for people to quit using any form of tobacco.
     Upcoming FREE tobacco cessation classes are available in the Levy County, Dixie County and Gilchrist County area.
     These programs include free nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and for people 18 years or older). There are also community, worksite and clinic groups offered.
     Following are the dates, times and locations.
     ● March 23, Saturday, 10 a.m. – Noon, Williston Public Library, 10 S.E. First St., in Williston.
     ● April 6, Saturday 10 a.m. – Noon, Capital City Bank, 2012 N. Young Blvd. (U.S. Highway 19), in Chiefland.
     ● March 26, Tuesday, 1-3 p.m., Tri-County Primary Care, 306 N.E. Highway 351, in Cross City.
     ● April 15, Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Gilchrist County Public Library, 105 N.E. 11th Ave., in Trenton.
     The person who wants to quit will select his or her quit date.
     For more information or to register for groups, please visit the website, or call 1-866-341-2730.


     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of started, 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 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 eight years. 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

March 18, 2019  Monday at 7:09 a.m.


Read Mark 14:66-75

     And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
-- Mark 14:72 (KJV)

     You lose yourself every time you forget who you are or to whom you belong. When Peter in the inn, with the awful pressure of the crowd around him, denied Jesus, he had forgotten who he was and to whom he belonged. The moment he remembered - he found himself and became the greatest of the soldiers of the Cross.
     How easy it is for us, amidst the great crowds of our cities and our armies, to forget who we are and to whom we belong; and, forgetting, lose ourselves; and, losing ourselves, lose our cause, our heritage, our task, our God. In remembrance, we are saved!
     Remember that you are the child of your mother. Remember your father. Remember the name you bear and the honor of that name. Remember that you have a home, and that a light burns for you, and that prayers are lifted to God for you. Remember that people are sacrificing for you. Remember that there’s a teacher who is counting upon you, and that some boy or girl is looking up to you.
     Remember that you belong to God. Remember that you came from Him and that you are going to Him. Remembering this, never forget to act accordingly.
     In remembrance of all that we are and of all that we must do, and on remembrance of all who are counting upon us, we are saved. I say unto you: Remember, and remember, and remember!
     OUR FATHER, help me and my friends to be reverent in our behavior, to use our liberty as befits followers of Christ, and to take our stand with the true, and the clean, and the brave. Amen.
The Rev. Raymond Albert Waser (Nov. 9, 1907-unknown)
First Plymouth Congregational Church
Denver, Colorado

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)



Published March 14, 2019 at 10:19 a.m.
First UMC CHiefland Pastor Alex Christian Connections

      Pastor Alex Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland provides a daily devotional video each Monday through Thursday via the church's Facebook page.
     Pastor Christian (or Pastor Alex as some people call him) in this video offers insight as well as other as aspects that may be inspirational to individuals.
     From now through Easter, Pastor Christian will be focusing on how we are all sinners and saints. 

     In his four daily videos this week, Pastor Christian plans to share with people how God is the God of flawed people.

     The pastor provides insight today (March 14) about how we can encourage others with our flaws.
     Click HERE to see and hear this pastor in this video.

Exodus 3:11-15
     11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.



Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © March 18, 2019 at 7:09 a.m.

     Whether you are on the water or in the woods, if fish or game is involved, so is scouting. Just because your boat is in the water, doesn’t mean all you have to do is drop a line in order to catch fish. The same goes for the woods. It doesn’t matter what game you are after, just surrounding yourself with trees will not guarantee any success. And then there are the signs that give proof that fish or game have been there before. This is especially evident in hunting. Game trails run throughout the woods. These paths are proof positive that some or perhaps many types of critters are moving throughout the area you are in. But again, these signs do not guarantee a successful place to hunt. I can remember the early years of deer hunting being so excited about these trails only to realize that I knew nothing about what was using them or when they might be using them. This was of course before trail cameras. I can also remember the days when I would unload a boat and immediately begin to fish the first place that looked “fishy.” It didn’t take me long to realize fish live in the entire lake, so it all looks fishy. Again, the signs were no assurance I would have an encounter with the bass I came after.
     Now it is true the more signs one has, the greater the opportunity. This goes for fishing or hunting, and yet we have all been in the perfect place only to leave empty handed. Sometimes the barometric pressure is not right. Sometimes the wind is not right. And sometimes the water is too high or too muddy. Signs are a great thing to use but signs are not what we are hunting or fishing for. They simply point to the real thing.
     This fact is especially true when it comes to creation. If you have read one of my columns for any period of time, you know I am continually showing you how creation points to a Creator and how creation gives us a great opportunity to worship this Creator. But please don’t miss the point. Creation is only a sign of the true God, not a god itself. For if creation keeps you away from being the follower of Christ that you are meant to be, then it has become an idol you have used to replace the one and only God. So, ask yourself this question as you continue to pursue your passion in the outdoors: Are the signs I see from nature making me want to become a better follower of Christ? Or are they replacing that desire? Only you know the real answer and only you can change it.

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


Take Time To Do Things Right
By Guy Sheffield © March 12, 2019 at 2:49 p.m.
     Certain pressures can just naturally tend to mount on a fellow who’s dated a girl for over three years without proposing. His friends start asking, “When you going to pop the question?” Future in-laws start asking, “When you going to pop the question?” The girl starts asking… well you get the drift. It can make a man a mite jumpy.
     Marriage is a big step, and it shouldn't be lightly entered into. One would be wise to think things through. Admittedly, the thinking process just takes longer for some of us. That’s why I… I mean this certain guy I know, determined he would not be roped into making a move just because of a few subtle hints. Of course he quickly caved when those hints turned into vague threats, and his own family threatened to disown him. Finally he conceded, “Maybe I do need to come up with a plan?”
     Soon the potential young bride’s birthday arrived, and the air was thick with rumors and speculation. The Las Vegas odds makers were banking two to one on a proposal. Her close friends waited by the phone, at least those who hadn’t already passed out from holding their breath. The young girl was absolutely glowing with excitement that night as her beau took her to a fine restaurant. I can’t tell you how hard it was for that young handsome rascal to stare into those beautifully expectant green eyes after desert, burp and say, “Whelp, let’s go.”
     As intended, his aloofness only thickened the plot, and added a new twist to his unfolding plan. Returning home, the sly dog pulled out a gi-normous cardboard box topped with a bright red bow. It was unusually weighty. The girl’s eyes roamed his face like it was a grocery store tabloid. Finally, sensing what she perceived to be a guilty glint in his eyes, she tore into that box like a starving coon about to enjoy a sack of stolen Salmon steaks. Cleverly, within the big box was another. Huffing, to feign the required annoyance, she continued on, practically levitating with excitement. I wish you could've been there to see her surprise when she opened that second box to find a beginners set of lady’s golf clubs!  I mean ahh… I’ll bet it was something to see.
     Needless to say, things were a little chilly between the two love birds the next few weeks. Poor fellow- How was he supposed to know she didn’t play golf? Now before you go writing mean letters blasting me for being sympathetic to this Guy’s plight, let me pull a Paul Harvey, and tell you the rest of the story. According to his plan, the young man had covertly arranged a meeting with the girl's dad before leaving on the couple's upcoming Gulf Coast vacation. Having satisfied proper protocol, he was then able to confidently take her for a stroll along the star lit beach that first night. Where, to her surprise, he romantically fell to a knee and from his pocket produced a one karat diamond solitaire. With the waves crashing against the shore and a gentle breeze stirring her red locks, he asked her for her hand in marriage. She accepted. Last I checked she liked his plan just fine. They’ve been happily married for over 19 years now, growing more madly in love each passing day; SO THERE!
     You'd think the word ‘Wait’ was a four letter word these days! We want what we want, and we want it NOW! We’re like the I.G.G. people- The Immediate Gratification Generation. I’m just worried we might go down in history as the clowns that put the IGG in iggnert!
     Sure, it’s hard to wait on the Lord. He almost never works on our schedule. But I’m learning it’s wise. You see, we’re concerned with our comfort... He’s concerned with our character. We’re itching for a quick fix... He’s determined to do things proper. We’ll never get God’s best by rushing out ahead of Him. If we’ll just hold out for His will, in the end we’ll be so glad we did. (The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. Lamentations 3:25 KVJ)
     But anyway - Faith and Patience must’ve said their vows a long time ago, because it literally takes a miracle to separate them. By the way, do you know anybody that needs an unused set of ladies golf clubs? Somehow I ended up with a set in my garage.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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SUNDAY  MARCH 17  10:09 a.m.
St. Patrick's Day

Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


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