Chiefland City Commission Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday
(April 22) starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Tommy Usher
Community Center, 506 S.W. Fourth Ave.,
During this workshop, CFR plans to demonstrate how it can
increase the odds of survival for individuals who suffer
from heart disease, diabetes, seizures, asthma, Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, strokes, or who are the
victims of a vehicular accidents or some other types of
incidents. What the CFR is asking Levy County and its
Department of Public Safety to be allowed to do is called
Advanced Life Support (ALS), non-transport.
The fire-rescue department is seeking to be allowed to
treat patients, not to transport them to a
Currently, the county does not allow CFR to administer
anything beyond Basic Life Support. As first responders who
are often at a scene of a medical emergency several minutes
before an ambulance arrives, paramedics with CFR currently
are disallowed from using all of the skills for which they
trained to preserve lives.
The paramedics would like the ability to provide the
highest level of care they can provide. A tri-fold, full
color brochure, paid for with private funding (not tax
dollars) helps explain why CFR is requesting ALS
non-transport status. That brochure notes
To have the sick or injured person ready for transport when
the ambulance arrives, reducing the time it takes the
person reach definitive care (emergency room
Because CFR will not be transporting patients, we should
always be in the area for immediate dispatch to
Several years ago, two ambulances were stationed in the
Chiefland area. Due to cuts, only one is stationed here
According to the Department of Public Safety Director,
Chiefland and the surrounding area has the highest demand
for emergency services and produces the highest number of
calls in Levy County. *
The Department of Public Safety Director reports that, 33
times in the last quarter of 2013, there were no ambulances
available to answer calls in Levy County. *
Documented dispatch times show that several times each
month residents wait extended period of time for ambulances
to arrive. *
It is common practice all over the United States for fire
department to operate as ALS non-transport. *
All medical care professional agree that the more ALS
providers that are available and the quicker the patient
receives Advanced Life Support Care, increases a person’s
chance for survival. *
Those receiving ALS services from Chiefland Fire Resuce
will not be billed for these
The historic Putnam Lodge, located
at 15487 N.W. U.S. Highway 19 in Cross City, had its first
section built in 1927 and Marc L. Fleishel is credited with
being among the general contractors of the structure in
that era of construction. On Saturday, the new owners of
the Putnam Lodge, Edward A. "Eddie" and Beverly H. "Bev"
Pivacek, hosted a rather astounding open house of the
historic and now very functional hotel and
Eddie is president of Islander
Construction Services of Hudson, according to records at
the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations.
This general contractor, his wife and others have restored
the grand old structure, making it among the excellent
places to sleep and eat while in the Dixie County area. The
dining room includes a full bar too.
Eddie did most of the restoration
at the lodge, which now includes a ramp for wheelchair
access to the bottom floor.
Located just after the most
northern traffic light on U.S. 19 in Cross City, the big
white structure is behind a large wrought iron fence with a
drive-through driveway, and there is ample parking on grass
among the 18 acres of property.
Rocking chairs await guests on the front porch of
the Putnam Lodge in Cross City.
There were 19 rooms available as
of Saturday, Bev said, and there will be 25 rooms for rent
all-told. One room was already rented as she gave tours,
and another guest tracked her down to rent a room for that
night. The prices range from $80 to $150 a night.
There is a special room for brides
and grooms – the honeymoon suite. Each room is unique,
although she refers to some as kings’ rooms, queens’ rooms
and suites. There is one room with a wrought iron bedframe
that has angels at the foot of the bed. Another room has a
leopard theme about it.
Bev said there already have been
two weddings at the lodge, another one is scheduled, and
there can be as many as 250 guests on the 3,000 to 4,000
square-foot outdoor deck.
Each room has its own
bathroom. The entire lodge is air-conditioned, although
when it was first built there were screen doors to allow
the air to flow through the long straight hallways. The
rugs that are seen at various points on the natural wooden
floors are original to the hotel, she said.
Jonathan Martin offers samples of food for guests
to enjoy during the open house.
There is Wi-Fi and television in
each room as well.
The hotel managers do everything
they can to accommodate the needs of guests. For people who
are arriving at Cross City Airport, there is a shuttle
service to take them to and from the Putnam Lodge. Bev said
that she and Eddie are speaking with fishing guides to
consider how they may join forces to help visitors enjoy
this aspect of the Dixie County area too.
Among the regular events already
happening at the Putnam Lodge are Sunday champagne
brunches. This event, which is slated for each Sunday from
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes live music on the deck. The
performers on Saturday were members of the East Coast Band
-- Al and Patty Howland, and "Micky D." This band plays
classic country music, and they opened with the musical
"Buckaroo" by Buck Owens.
For people who want to enjoy the
Sunday champagne brunches, Bev highly recommends making a
reservation by calling 352-440-0414.
Another event that is happening on
occasion is the celebration of the completion of a book.
Dixie County Clerk Dana Johnson was among the many people
wandering through the Putnam Lodge on Saturday. She is a
member of The Book Club that meets on the veranda and
enjoys a luncheon while they discuss the book the club most
recently finished reading.
The veranda offers an attractive setting for
Sometimes, The Book Club also has a
guest author speak, Johnson said.
The past of the Putnam Lodge
reportedly even included Al Capone staying as a guest, and
even him having a back way to escape as the law enforcement
officers came to capture him.
This view captures part of the dining room on
Saturday. The bar is behind and to the right from this
Another interesting attraction for
some people may be that Room 11 is “a haunted room.” Some
people want to rent that room for the potential of seeing a
ghost, although other guests may want to stay in that room
to assure their friends and loved ones that they did not
experience any metaphysical visions.
While these are romantic
and enticing tales of bygone days in a way, Bev said the
future holds bright hope for several more modern
The guiding principle for the
business, she said, is that from the moment a guest arrives
until the time when he or she leaves, “We want you to be
here. We want you to enjoy yourself. It’s all about the
Executive Chef Jeno Koch stands in the kitchen of
the Putnam Lodge. Samples of some of his work were shared
with visitors at the open house, and the food was very
tasty and well-presented.
The open house on Saturday is the
culmination of a long process that began with negotiating a
price for the property. Bev said she is thankful to God for
letting this come to be, and it was through the efforts of
Diana Downing Realty that it reached fruition.
“Diana made it happen,” Bev said.
“If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be here today.” THE SPILLWAY
After entering the lobby of the
lodge, there is a room to the right side that Bev calls
“the spillway.” There are a couple of couches and chairs, a
television, and books. The books are from the library at
Horseshoe Beach, she said.
“Everybody has been helping us
make this lodge a success,” she said, as she noted her
appreciation for all of the help from people throughout
Dixie County, as well as from her family and close
Audra Markham (left) and Rachel Wilson stand ready
to serve guests on Saturday.
There are some Bibles in the room.
They appear to be family Bibles and they came with the
structure, she said. If there are family members who want
to claim them, she does not have any qualms about that; or
they may remain in the room for use by guests. If a family
member wants to retrieve a Bible, they need to contact
A very attractive and open
conference room provides a perfect setting for an executive
luncheon on the second floor of the structure. On Saturday,
tables were set with 10 chairs around them in the center of
the room under a chandelier. Meals can be served there, and
staff will accommodate whatever the guest wants to arrange
in that regard.
Part of the giant outdoor deck is seen here
Saturday at the East Coast Band sets up
In this still photo, and in this video, the East
Coast Band (Al and Patty Howland of Old Town on the left
and right) play as 'Micky D.' joins them in performing
Buckaroo by Buck Owens.
Bev said the couple’s son has a
thriving paintball business in Tampa, and this is an
activity that may be happening on the grounds at the Putnam
Like all of the future events,
there is not a firm timeline on the start of this activity
yet. CUISINE ARTS
As the couple continued their
work, which included Bev’s sister-in-law Denise Hamilton
joining Bev in scraping floors, painting and performing
whatever else needed to be done, Eddie and Bev Pivacek had
occasion to meet different people at just the right
Chef Jeno Koch, formerly the chief
cook at Stabbert Maritime/Ocean Services; formerly the
provision master at Norwegian Cruise Line; and formerly the
executive sous chef at Norwegian Cruise Line, is now the
executive chef at the Putnam Lodge.
Bev said Koch had become tired of
traveling on the seas and wanted to remain in one place.
The Pivaceks had looked from Gainesville to Tampa and
beyond for just the right person. And it was thanks to God
that they were able to persuade Koch to be the chef at the
lodge, Bev said.
In time, Bev sees the chef
conducting cuisine-oriented educational events at the
lodge. Jolene Dixon, the manager of food and beverage at
the lodge now, came into the picture at just the right time
too. And she concurs with Bev about when people meet each
“I believe people’s paths cross
for a reason,” Dixon said. “The day I came in here, it was
a good thing.”
Dixon mentioned that she is
familiar with hydroponic gardens and this may fit into a
future food-oriented get-together for people interested in
this form of growing plants. THE PAST
Built in 1927, Dixie County's
Putnam Lodge is a reminder of an era during which the
Putnam Lumber Co. annually produced tidewater red cypress
and longleaf yellow pine at its mill in Shamrock.
A monument was erected near the
front of the lodge and it was dedicated during a ceremony
held on Dec. 8, 2004.
The text of the marker states
“Putnam Lodge, built in 1927-28 by the Putnam Lumber
Company, is part of a bygone era in Florida's forestry
history. Here, beside the old Dixie Highway, Putnam Lodge,
part of the "company town" of Shamrock, accommodated
tourists, transients and company executives and clients.
The lobby and the dining room of the 36-room lodge were
decorated exclusively with the still preserved, artfully
stenciled "pecky cypress," a now virtually extinct lumber
product. In its day, the Putnam Lumber Company, founded by
William O'Brien, a timber magnate of Irish descent, and
associates including E.B. Putnam, employed hundreds at its
two state-of-the-art sawmills in Shamrock. The mills
annually produced and shipped worldwide millions of feet of
"deep swamp tidewater cypress" and "dense Florida longleaf
yellow pine" lumber, products that are now rare because the
old growth trees are gone. Shamrock provided its residents
and employees with comfortable homes, a commissary, a store
comparable to "any city department store," two schools, two
hotels, the Shamrock Dairy Farm, and an ice plant producing
18 tons of ice daily. The lodge is representative of a time
of local timber supremacy and economic prosperity.”
The open house on Saturday was
very well attended. Eddie and Bev Pivacek want their guests
to enjoy every minute of their visits to this part of
Florida. For more information about the Putnam Lodge, to
book a room, or to make a reservation for the Sunday
champagne brunch, call 352-440-0414.
Jingle Singer The newest
performer of the HardisonInk.com jingle is
Glorianna Cherry. With our new video program connected with
YouTube, the videos are going to be bigger. Everyone is
invited to sing the HardisonInk.com jingle. You
can be featured here. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want
to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to
editor@HardisonInk.com. He asks people to sing it, too, and
some of them agree. (Thanks people!) This video was posted
April 3, 2014.
Video by Jeff M. Hardison
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