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UMM feeds team
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Complete with his CHS tee shirt, Norman Weaver of the United Methodist Men of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland prepares some scrambled eggs.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 29, 2014

     CHIEFLAND -- By 7:01 a.m. on Friday (Aug. 29), all of the Chiefland High School Indians football players who were going to enjoy breakfast provided by the First United Methodist Church of Chiefland's United Methodist Men had walked down to the basement Fellowship Hall to dine on their first meal of the day.Bfast082914B
     Kary Colson, a member of UMM and the 2013 Chiefland Citizen of the Year, said he had earned some money as a poll worker, so he donated $100 to buy the food to feed the players and coaches.

Pastor Terry Wines washes dishes to help in the effort of feeding the hungry CHS Indians Football Team.

     UMM members Reid Granger and Norman Weaver were among the active cooks of the day. Pastor Terry Wines did dishes and said the prayer before the boys lined up for buffet style service.
     The morning fare included scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon, grits, mixed fruit, bananas, orange juice and tea.

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    Colson said that in Chiefland, it is the First United Methodist Church, or the Hardeetown Baptist Church or the First Baptist Church of Chiefland that primarily feeds the boy breakfast on game day. Every student in Levy County can enjoy a free breakfast and a free lunch at school every school day thanks to successful efforts by the Levy County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Robert Hastings.

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While the players are happy to be preparing to eat a wonderful breakfast, they are practicing putting on a 'game face' rather than smiling.


Student dedicates summer
to helping wildlife

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Hunter Barrand stops for a moment while building the frame for the new bat house.

Story and Photo
By Pam Darty,
Refuge Ranger © Aug. 28, 2014
     LOWER SUWANNEE NWR -- While most Chiefland Middle School students slept in during summer break, Hunter Barrand rose before 6 a.m. and worked in the oppressive heat and dripping humidity for free.
     Barrand worked alongside the Youth Conservation Corps and college interns at the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Reserve. He’s getting a jump start on a career.
     Hunter, the son of CMS substitute teacher Jeanna Barrand, and Daniel Barrand, Forester for the North Florida Refuge Complex, hasn’t even begun his Bright Futures volunteer hours, yet.
     He works nine hours a day “for the work experience,” he says.
     During the weeks that turned into months, Barrand worked on forestry projects:  planting more than 2,500 long leaf pines, and cruising timber – the beginnings of a career in forestry or resources management. This is not the first summer that Hunter has volunteered; if in high school, he’d be well on his way to a higher education scholarship.
     Being a volunteer, he helped out sometimes in unexpected ways.
     Pouring concrete beneath and building the frame for the new huge bat house being erected this summer is some activity that helped introduce him to colonial bat behavior.
     He not only built bluebird boxes, but learned where to most effectively install them, so a new generation of bluebirds will make their home in the Lower Suwannee NWR.
     Not only did he donate hours of work and make his parents proud, but as a 13-year-old boy, he already has a job reference from a federal government agency – a big plus wherever he might apply for a job.


Thelma McCain seek reelection
as CFEC Trustee for District 1

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 26, 2014

     LEVY COUNTY -- Thelma McCain of Cedar Key announced on Tuesday (Aug. 26) that she is seeking another three-year term as the trustee for District 1 of Central Florida Electric Cooperative.
 McCain082614A    The 73-year-old woman has served for 10 years on the board, missing two meetings in all that time. One time her son Harold was in the hospital. The other time, she was in the hospital with a broken leg.

Thelma McCain

     McCain, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District, said she serves all of the electric cooperative members just as she wants to be treated – with respectful courtesy. McCain always is ready to listen to the concerns of the people she represents, she said.
     When a person contacts her with a question or concern, she always answers. Sometimes, she has to refer them to a person who has the answer but she always works to help people.
     “I just love people,” McCain said as the reason she is seeking another term. “I want to continue helping people as their trustee.”
     McCain and the other CFEC trustees have worked hard to keep electric rates as low as possible, she said, however sometimes there are factors that are beyond their control.
     The woman who is seeking to start her third term as an elected representative in co-op started her tenure with the CFEC by an appointment.
     “I made a promise 23 years ago to Eddie Richburg (Jan. 20, 1919-June 4, 2009),” McCain said. “He said, ‘I need a favor. If something should happen to me, would you take my place and finish out my term.’”
     McCain agreed to do as he asked. At the time, he mentioned that he felt she would serve the people best because she loves people and will look after the people in the district.
     “For almost 13 years,” McCain said, “I said, ‘Thank you Jesus’ (because he never called her on that favor). Within that last year, he called me and asked if I was ready to fulfill that promise. He said his heart was fine, but he was going blind.”
     Richburg gave McCain as his recommendation and there were no other people submitted. The board interviewed her and then appointed McCain. She completed his last six months of service. Then, she was elected, and re-elected twice for a total of three, three-year terms when no one ran against her.
     The CFEC revised its district boundaries. This time, there is another person who wants to be elected. Her name is Regina Goss.
     Ballots will be mailed to members of the Central Florida Electric Cooperative between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The ballots must be postmarked by Sept. 19 to be counted.
     McCain would like everyone in CFEC District 1 to vote for her. She can be reached at her home number of 352-543-5436 or on her cell phone number of 352-328-9849.


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-- UPDATED --
FRI.  AUG. 29  4:17 p.m.
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