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Levy County Fair Jr. Karoke Winners
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Winners of the Levy County Fair Jr. Karaoke contest are (from left) third place Ben Morris of Gainesville, second place Makayla McComb of Williston and first place Samantha Ryalls of Williston.
Photo Provided


2014 Levy County Fair
Creative Arts Winners

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Seen here is the Youth Fine Art's Best of Division – Katie Hagan, Folk Victorian House.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison


Published April 15, 2015
     Following is the list of winners from the fair in creative arts.
Youth Fine Art

Best of Division – Katie Hagan, Folk Victorian House
Blue Ribbons
     • Decoupage – Katie Hagan
     • Sculpture – Libby Hagan
     • Mixed Media – Mackenzie Henderson
     • Mixed Media – John Long
     • Pencil – Hannah Roof
Red Ribbons
     • Mixed Media – Hannah Roof
     • Pencil – John Long
~
Adult Fine Art
Best of Division – Thomas Wolfe, Horseshoe Sculpture Cross
Blue Ribbons
     • Sculpture – Thomas Wolfe
     • Mixed Media – Ed Rowe
~
Wood
Best of Division – Steven Sample, Sr., Archery Bow
Blue Ribbons
     • Carving, Steven Sample, Sr.
     • Wood Burning, Joann Chisholm
     • Furniture, Joann Chisholm
~
Crochet
Best of Division – Elizabeth Milam, Baby Afghan
Blue Ribbons
     • Baby Afghan, Elizabeth Milam
     • Doily, Elizabeth Milam
     • Other (Handbag), Elizabeth Milam
Red Ribbon
     • Baby Afghan, Lisa Binkley
~
Knitting
Best of Division – Sara Runnels, Sweater
Blue Ribbons
     • Sweater (Multi-Color Pattern) Sara Runnels
     • Socks, Elizabeth Milam
     • Adult Shawl Elizabeth Milam
     • Child’s Wear Suzanne Mogdans
     • Hat, Suzanne Mogdans
     • Infant Wear, Suzanne Mogdans
     • Baby Afghan, Elizabeth Milam
     • Sweater, Sara Runnels
     • Child’s Wear Sara Runnels
Red Ribbons
     • Socks, Elizabeth Milam
     • Hat, Suzanne Mogdans
Quilting
Best of Division – Carol Ihnken
Blue Ribbons
     • Pieced Quilt, Carol Ihnken
     • Quilt, Wall Hanging, Carol Ihnken
     • Senior Quilt (age 70+) Carol Ihnken
~
Weaving
Red Ribbon
     • Hand Controlled Weaving, Cathie Colella
~
Sewing
Best of Division – Sara Runnels, Blouse
Blue Ribbons
     • Blouse, Sara Runnels
     • Casual Sportswear, Sara Runnels
     • Skirt, Sara Runnels
~
Youth Sewing
Red Ribbon
     • Dress, Mackenzie Henderson
~
Youth Crafts
Best of Division – Brandy Weston, Pine Needle Hairpiece
Blue Ribbons
     • Pine Needle Hairpiece, Brandy Weston
     • Toys, Daniel Porras
Red Ribbon
     • Pine Needle Basket, Brandy Weston
~
Food Preservation
Best of Division – Ruth Mary Croft, Sweet Pickles
Blue Ribbons
     • Sweet Pickles, Ruth Mary Croft
     • Berry Jam, Angela Porras
Red Ribbons
     • Canned Vegetables, Ruth Mary Croft
White Ribbons
     • Barbecue Sauce, Ruth Mary Croft
     • Barbecue Sauce, Ruth Mary Croft
~
Baked Goods
Best of Division – Daniel Porras, Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Blue Ribbons
     • Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Daniel Porras
     • Chocolate Cake, Lila Runnels
     • Bar Cookie, Kelly Runnels
Red Ribbons
     • Brownies, Lucas Royce-Tucker
     • Quick Bread, Jacob Carter
     • Yellow Cake, Rett Carter
     • Tomato Soup Cake, Angela Porras
~
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Adult Photography

Best of Division – Alan Osowiecki, Landscape
Blue Ribbons
     • People, Joann Chisholm
     • Places, Amanda Henderson
     • Detail/macro, Joann Chisholm
     • Landscape, Gail Havard
     • Landscape, Alex Osowiecki
     • Animals, Shawn Henderson
     • Animals, Amanda Henderson
     • Digitally Altered, Monica Merced
Red Ribbons
     • Places, Gail Havard
     • Details/Macro, Shirley Selby
     • Landscape, Jade Chisholm
     • Digitally Altered, Amanda Henderson
     • Digitally Altered, Melissa Weidmann
     • Animals, Joann Chisholm
     • Animals, Gail Havard
~
Youth Photography
Best of Division – Faith Engstrom, Floral
Blue Ribbons
     • People, Faith Engstrom
     • People, Graceann Engstrom
     • Places, Makayla Sample
     • Places, Angela Porros
     • Detail/Macro, Steven Sample, Jr.
     • Floral, Faith Engstrom
Red Ribbons
     • Detail/Macro, Angela Porras
     • Landscape, Faith Engstrom
     • Landscape, Jason Chisholm
     • Floral, Angela Porras
     • Animals, Jade Chisholm


Bronson FFA Wins
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These Bronson Senior FFA members placed second in state competition on Saturday (April 12) at the University of Florida, where they were involved with the State Poultry Judging Career Development Event. They had to identify 10 cuts of chicken, such as whole breast, breast tenderloin or leg quarter, grade both exterior egg quality through visual inspection and interior egg quality, with the use of an egg candler, determine the grade of 10 dressed out ready-to-cook chicken carcasses, master a very difficult exam, and determine from a class of live birds which is the best-laying hen to the least productive layer. They will be recognized at the FFA state convention in June. This was the final FFA poultry judging event for Bronson's seniors Candace Hulett and Justin Johnson. The winners seen here are (from left) Candace Hulett, Justin Johnson, Clayton Lott and Remi Cannon.
Photo and Information Provided by Jennifer N. Bray


Levy County Fair Livestock
shows' winners listed

Published April 14, 2014
     WILLISTON -- Winners from among the young people participating in the 2014 Levy County Fair Livestock competition were announced by Brenda Heberling of the Levy County Extension Office. The winners are listed below
Rabbit Show
Cloverbuds Participating:  Daniel Porras, Layla Grace Hobby-Smith, Trystan Hobby-Smith, Zeke Bruner, Lucas Royce-Tucker, Kayley Jones, Melody Roberts, Lucas Sheppard, Connor Jones.
Showmanship
Junior
1st Olivia Kofmehl Klover Kids 4-H
2nd Kyley Newton – Klover Kids 4-H
3rd Aiden James – Klover Kids 4-H
Intermediate
1st Emily Goslee
2nd Dylan Clark
3rd Jade Chisholm
Senior
1st Kinsey Ward
2nd Jessie Carpenter
3rd Brooke Zane
Best Of Show Champion – Dylan Clark
Best Of Show Reserve – Jessie Carpenter
Poultry Show
Cloverbuds Participating: Carley Bellomy, Tanner Bailey, Zeke Bruner and Melody Roberts
Showmanship Junior
1st Burlynne Majeris
2nd Hunter Sharp
3rd Jason Chisholm
Intermediate
1st Marlee Coonradt
2nd Tristan Bailey
3rd Justin Chisholm
Senior
1st Jessie Carpenter
2nd Shelbi McCall
3rd Susan Karcoaltincaba
Best of Show: Hunter Sharp
Reserve Best of Show: Jessie Carpenter
Meat Goat Show
Showmanship Junior
1st Stephen Dixon
2nd Kyley Newton
3rd Olivia Kofmehl
Intermediate
1st Demitrius Bowers
2nd Ericha Turner
Senior
1st Flint Fowler
2nd Shelbi McCall
3rd Tara Smith
Champion Doe: Shelby O’Grady
Reserve Champion Doe: Shelbi McCall
Champion Buck: Shelby O’Grady
Reserve Champion Buck: Wyatt O’Grady
Dairy Goat Show
Showmanship Junior
1st Connor Jones
Senior
1st Flint Fowler
2nd Tara Smith
Champion Dairy Goat: Flint Fowler
Reserve Dairy Goat: Tara Smith
Steer Show
Showmanship Junior
1st Colby Etheridge
2nd Tori Mills
3rd Austin Phillips
Intermediate
1st Jerry Mills
2nd Will Childers
3rd Kevin Pezza
Senior
1st Baylee Etheridge
2nd Erin Jones
3rd Gray Childers
Champion Steer: Colby Etheridge
Reserve Champion Steer: Baylee Etheridge
Heifer Show
Showmanship Junior
1st Jillian Sanchez
2nd Colby Etheridge
3rd Isabelle Torrence
Intermediate
1st Samuel Torrence
2nd Will Childers
3rd Madison Starnes
Senior
1st Erin Jones
2nd Randa Connor
3rd Kate Douberly
Grand Champion Heifer: Randa Connor
Reserve Champion Heifer: Samuel Torrence


Fanning Springs Easter
fun includes bicycles
for some children

FanEast041214

Story and Photos © April 12, 2014

By Jeff M. Hardison
     FANNING SPRINGS -- The Town of Fanning Springs held its Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday (April 12) at Historic Fort Fanning.
     Hundreds of adults and children enjoyed a day filled with fun and excitement. Children enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt, playing in the bounce house and a visit from the Easter Bunny.
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     Once again Fanning Springs Fire Chief Ronnie McQueen led the festivities. And again the Fanning Springs Fire Department was responsible for coordinating the event. Fanning Springs Community Church worked with the fire department, providing the bounce house and refreshments.
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Presenting the many awards are (from left) Fanning Springs Fire Chief Ronnie McQueen, The Easter Bunny, Deputy Fire Chief Elania Spain and Fanning Springs City Councilwoman Barbara Locke.

     Thousands of candy-filled eggs were found quickly by the eager participants aged from infants to 12 years old. Drawings were held for more than 50 Easter baskets, and several bicycles and helmets, and other items. With the help of many volunteers and donations from several local businesses and individuals, the event was a huge success.
     Fanning Springs Councilwoman Barbara Locke was among the people at the front of the presentations of bicycles.
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One of the winners of a bicycle stands with her sister and mother. Madison Brogdon, 6, (center) won this bike and the pretty helmet she holds, which were donated by Waste Pro. Joining the winner are her sister Isabella Brogdon, 3, and her their mother Cassandra Brogdon.

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Fanning Springs Firefighter Chris Anderson wears full bunker gear to let the children see that a firefighter may look somewhat scary when he or she is dressed to rescue people, but they are friendly lifesavers who have to wear this type of gear to protect them from smoke and flames



Four Sworn In
Photo and Video by Jeff M. Hardison


Williston honors students
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Students of the Month
Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat stands with students who earned the honor and distinction of being the Students of the Month. The mayor said he and the City Council are proud of the accomplishments of ‘some of the best children in the world.’ Seen here (from left) are: Williston High School Army Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps Cmndr. Kristin Lindsey, a junior at WHS; Williston Elementary School fifth grader Jazmyn Kelly; Joyce Bullock Elementary School second grader Jenna Yancey; and Kati Weflen, a seventh grade student at Williston Central Christian Academy.

Story and Photo

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 8, 2014
     WILLISTON – Four students received honors Tuesday night (April 8) during the regular first meeting of the month of the Williston City Council.
     Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat bestowed the certificates of honor and the certificates for a free pizza. The pizza this month was sponsored by Angelina Mia Pizzeria and Ristorante of Williston.
     Mayor Hethcoat has far and away set the highest standard for a city leader honoring students in Levy County. He interacts with each child and lets them all feel the enjoyment of the recognition they have earned.
     Kati Weflen, a seventh grade student at Williston Central Christian Academy (WCCA), was nominated for this distinction by teacher Julie Alexander. Kati is the daughter of Titus and Angela Weflen.
     The young Miss Weflen sets an excellent example by meeting the expectations teachers have for students attending WCCA, the mayor said as he read what the girl’s teacher noted.
     “Kati strives for excellence in all that she does,” Hethcoat said Alexander noted. “When it comes to academics, she is a diligent worker, completes her assignments with enthusiasm, and is always eager to learn.”
     The mayor asked her if she was eager to learn and the student answered, “Yes sir.”
     It was a rather quiet question and answer, and the mayor let the audience know they were having their own conversation up at the front of the room.
     “She rises to any challenge presented to her, and thoroughly completes each task,” the mayor continued. “Furthermore, she is always willing to lend a helping hand whether it be for a fellow classmate, a teacher, or anyone else in need.”
     “Do you like to help?” the mayor asked.
     “Yes sir,” she answered
     “Kati is a very genuine individual who endeavors to succeed at all that she sets out to do,” Alexander noted and the mayor said. “It is with great pleasure that I nominate Kati Weflen for student of the month from WCCA.”
     The student of the month is from  Joyce Bullock Elementary School and is a second grader.
     Jenna Yancey, the daughter of Theresa and Greg Yancey, was nominated by Brandi Geiger.
     “Jenna has been an outstanding student,” the mayor said Geiger noted. “She excels exceptionally in the classroom. She has made the A Honor Roll every nine weeks this year in second grade.”
     The mayor took a moment to shake the little girl’s hand for that accomplishment.
     “Jenna also has good character. She has amazing classroom behavior. She listens to all directions and raises her hand for clarification. She also helps out not only me but other students in the classroom as well,” the teacher noted.
    The young Miss Yancey has served as a Safety Ranger this year. And while the teacher had noted she “will visit Tallahassee with the other
Safety Rangers,” she told the mayor that she had already gone. The mayor asked if she had straightened out the people in Tallahassee. Before she could answer, he said he was certain she did.
     The Student of the Month for Williston Elementary School is Jazmyn Kelly, a fifth grader who is on the WES Safety Patrol.
     Jazmyn Kelly’s parent or guardian is Nakita Edwards. Fifth grade teacher Serena Thiessen noted “Jasmyn is a hard-working 5th grade safety patrol (member) that has made her grades and helping others a top priority.”
     This WES student “is always focused on tasks, always gives it her all and is always willing to help her peers and staff. Jasmyn maintains polite, helpful and kind mannerisms in all her interactions; she is a joy to have in fifth grade,” the mayor said as he read her citation.
     The final Student of the Month honored Tuesday evening is from Williston High School.
     Mayor Hethcoat saluted her and he told the audience that everyone would understand after he read her citation, which was noted by WHS Army Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps Capt. Frank Clegg.
      Kristin Lindsey, a junior at WHS, is the daughter of Malcolm and Carla Lindsey. She sets the example and leads from the front in WHS JROTC, the captain noted. The young Miss Lindsey is a scholar, an athlete and a cadet, the mayor said.
     “Kristin is at the top in academics,” Hethcoat read Clegg’s words. “(She) is a starter for the WHS Softball team, participates in the drama club and is the commander of the JROTC Cadet Corps. She runs her staff efficiently and gets the job done. She currently has her staff preparing for the Military Ball.”
     The student let the mayor know that ball was a success that has already happened.
     On Feb. 22, Kristin was in command of the Male/Mixed Unarmed Platoon representing Williston High School at the Area II (North
Florida) Drill Competition and took home the second place trophy.
     “Her dedication to Williston High School, and in particular JROTC, is outstanding,” the mayor said Capt. Clegg noted.


Town leaders fear loss
of county fire funding,
delaying agreement with city

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Bronson Interim Fire Chief Dennis Russell (from left) and Williston Fire Chief Lamar Stegall and Williston City Manager Scott Lippmann listen to the Bronson Town Council on Monday night (April 7).

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 8, 2014

     BRONSON -- After some discussion Monday night (April 7), the Bronson Town Council chose against accepting an offer from the City of Williston to help with fire protection, and that delay shows fear of losing county funds from cooperating with another city.
     The apprehension was reinforced by Bronson Town Attorney Steven Warm, who "read between the lines" of a communique from Levy County Public Safety Director David Knowles, who, according to Warm's interpretation warned the Town Council against acting before having the blessing of the county.
     There was a moment or two of saber-rattling by Town Councilman Aaron Edmondson, who said he did not want the town to be "held hostage" by the county from making an agreement with the Williston Fire Rescue Department. After more discussion, he acquiesced to what became the unanimous choice -- delay a decision until the county gave its approval.
     Williston City Manager Scott Lippmann and WFR Chief Lamar Stegall were in the audience. Knowles was not present.
     The interlocal agreement prepared by the city of Williston, Town Clerk Kelli Brettel said, would lend staffing support from the WFR to the BFR. If Williston provides staffing to the fire department, the rate is $12 per hour, per firefighter. That fee would be paid to the city, which would disburse it to the personnel.
     Brettel noted this shows the town is not hiring the firefighters, but is in an interlocal agreement with the city.
     Knowles sent a letter to the town to note his desire for the county to be offered a similar option as that given to Williston. For a Firefighter I from the county, the fee is $53.83 per 12-hour shift, the Firefighter II fee for 12 hours from the county is $144.
     Knowles also brought it to the attention of the Bronson Town Council that County Coordinator Freddie Moody must approve the interlocal agreement between Williston and Bronson, Brettel said, according to County Attorney Anne Brown's interpretation of the 2006-07 amended agreement between the county and the town for fire protection services.
     Town Councilman Berlon Weeks initially blustered at that statement, and said there is municipal home rule in Florida and that "Counties do not tell cities what to do." Weeks said the statement should have been removed from the agreement between the town and the county.
     "That's not at all fair or legal in Florida," Weeks said.
     Town Attorney Warm did not make any statement about the legality of the clause.
     Interim Chief Russell said the agreement between Bronson and Williston could be made that night, contingent on approval by the county.
     Stegall noted that the paragraph in question only requires written approval from the county coordinator or his or her designee. Moody is the coordinator, Stegall said, and after speaking with him on Monday (April 7), Stegall said he was of the impression that there was no problem with the agreement.
     Nevertheless, as the conversation evolved in the Dogan Cobb Municipal Building on Monday night, there was an expression of some sort of county retribution that might occur against Bronson for daring to be so bold as to make an agreement for staffing by Williston firefighters.
     Weeks told Stegall that he understood the proposed interlocal agreement.
     "I just don't want to lose our (Bronson's) funding from the county, because we decided to make a deal with Williston," Weeks said.
     Stegall said he understood Weeks' concern.
     County Commissioner John Meeks was in the audience. He said he was just there as an observer, and not as a county commissioner. Meeks said he felt some other commissioners may not like the agreement because of its potential to "escalate." He made a veiled reference to Chiefland and Otter Creek, but he was not specific in that regard.
     "We don't like the way the county handled the city either," Edmondson responded to Meeks' comments. "We don't want to be pushed into something, held hostage, if we are trying to do something to better our fire department -- to keep the county from taking over. So you tell your commissioner that when you go back up there, and you remember the same thing too."
     Meeks said he would debate the issue with Edmondson outside, but not in the meeting and on the record. Meeks said he was at the meeting as a citizen, and not as a county commissioner.
     Edmondson said Bronson wants to work with Williston and Chiefland and not have the county hold Bronson as hostages.
     Bronson Town Councilman Bruce Greenlee said the town is under contract with the county, and it is bound by whatever terms exist in that agreement. If the staffing offer from WFR for BFR is contingent on the county coordinator’s approval, and if Moody sees no problem with it, then the town will move forward with the interlocal agreement with the city.
     Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts said she saw no problem with approving the agreement contingent on the county's approval. That is when the discussion showed the town leaders fear the County Commission cutting funding.
     Roberts said there is no difference if the town approved the agreement that night, contingent on county approval. If the county agrees, then the agreement goes forward. If the county disagrees, then the agreement is null. Roberts said delaying a vote by the Town Council for two weeks makes no difference.
     Edmondson said he prefers to table the issue until the next Town Council meeting, because after all was said, he did not want to endanger the town with losing the funding it gets from the county. Weeks agreed with Edmondson.
     Town Clerk Brettel noted that Interim Chief Russell had hired two more daytime firefighters, and the department was staffed very well. There is no current staffing problem with Bronson Fire Rescue Department, she said.
     Greenlee added that the town of Bronson is offering the same opportunity to the Levy County Department of Public Safety as it is seeking to have with the city of Williston.
     Warm said he "read between the lines" of the letter from Knowles.
     "Mr. Knowles seems to be saying, 'Don't do anything until we've looked at this, and put a rubber stamp on it,'" Warm said. "And I would get the impression that they (the County Commission) would feel you (Town Council) had defied them if you go ahead and do something affirmative, and then say, 'Here, we pretty much did it. Now you have to approve it.'"
     With that Weeks' motion to table the agreement, seconded by Edmondson, met with unanimous approval.


Cedar Key Woman's Club
elects new officers

2014CKWC
This photo captures the moment with (from left) Margie Harper of the General Federation Of Women’s Club Florida (GFWC) Florida District 5 office; Cedar Key Woman's Club (CKWC) President Susan Rosenthal; CKWC First Vice President Janet Ramsey; CKWC Second Vice President Paula Westcott, CKWC Recording Secretary Katherine Dunlop; CKWC Corresponding Secretary Judy Treharne; CKWC Treasurer Judy Duvall; and Sue Allen of the GFWC Florida District 5.
Photo Provided

Published April 8, 2014

     CEDAR KEY -- On March 26, the Cedar Key Woman’s Club (CKWC) hosted an installation dinner at Steamer’s Restaurant in Cedar Key.
     Out with the “old” and in with the “new” as they say -- and, the officers being installed will serve the ladies’ club from March 31 until March 31, 2016. The previous officers were very hard to replace, and the club has grown to 47 members in the past four years.
     Cedar Key Woman’s Club is a longtime member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is an international organization.
     Two of the District 5 General Federation Of Women’s Club Florida officers were in attendance and did the honor of installing the new officers.

-- UPDATED --
TUE. APR. 15  6:37 p.m.

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