People invited to join
the treasure hunt;
Explore Florida’s Wildlife Management
Areas with FWC’s Geocaching Challenge
Published March 15, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.
On the Leisure Page of HardisonInk.com
FLORIDA – Everyone is invited to hunt for treasure in Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas.
Grab your smartphone or GPS unit and go looking for geocaches scattered over Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas.
It’s your chance to join a modern-day treasure hunt while soaking in the beauty of the wildlife and scenery on lead WMAs managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The Geocaching Challenge, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Florida’s WMA system, officially begins March 13, when people of all ages can get started on finding one or more of the 49 geocaches hidden on the lead WMAs.
If you get lucky, you may find the two 75th WMA Anniversary Geocoins!
“Go geocaching on a Florida Wildlife Management Area if you want the excitement of a modern-day treasure hunt set in incredibly beautiful places where you can experience wild Florida at its best,” said Jerrie Lindsey, director of FWC’s Public Access and Wildlife Viewing Services Office. ”While you are out geocaching, you also get the chance to explore our WMAs and all the outdoor recreational opportunities they provide, from wildlife viewing to fishing, hiking, paddling and hunting.”
“The Geocoin Journey is part of the fun,” Lindsey said. “The goal is to get the two trackable geocoins to all of the 49 geocache locations, with your help of course!”
Ready to get started? Click HERE. Join our Geocaching Challenge. You have until Dec. 31, 2017, to find the geocaches on Florida’s WMAs.
On a practical note, what if you are unable to use your smartphone because you are in a remote WMA area? FWC staff say you should be able to use a GPS unit or the GPS signal on your cellphone, which should work even when you can’t get a phone connection.
More on the WMA 75th anniversary, including upcoming events, the 75 Years Wild photo contest and how to find a WMA near you, is at MyFWC.com/WMA75.
Blue Springs Par
opens for spring break;
Dates listed for
two county parks’ openings
Published March 15, 2017 at 8:27 a.m.
on the Leisure Page
BRONSON -- There are a couple of Levy County parks that are only open seasonally and the season is here for one, and fast-approaching for the other.
The freeze warning for tonight (March 15) is something for some people to consider before swimming, although some people swim in what other people consider to be cold weather.
Levy County's Blue Springs Park, 4550 N.E. 94th Place, near Bronson is open now every day until March 20.
Blue Springs Park is then going to be open from March 24 until May 22 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
WeatherBug's forecast for the next six days shows the following highs and lows in degrees measured on the Fahrenheit scale – today Wednesday (March 15) 57 and 32 (freezing); Thursday 60 and 37; Friday 69 and 43; Saturday 74 and 54; Sunday 73 and 45; and Monday (March 20) 71 and 48.
Henry Beck Park, 3770 S.E. Levy County Road 343, near Gulf Hammock, opens April 1 through May 22 and it will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Both parks will be open seven-days-a-week beginning May 26, and by then the weather should be very good for swimming in the clear, clean spring water.
The parks open at 10 a.m. and they close at 7:30 p.m. Admission costs $2.
For more information about Blue Springs Park, please call 352-486-3303. For more information about Henry Beck Park, please call 352-486-5326.
Ryleigh Locke wins
Grand Champion Heifer
Grand Champion Heifer honors were won by Ryleigh Locke of Kountry Kids 4-H Club. Pictured above are grandfather Dale Locke, Show Judge Lawson Mozley, Laurie and Dallas Locke, Abbie Claire Locke (hidden behind heifer's head), Ryleigh Locke and Heifer Show Superintendent Lint Jerrels.
Reserve Champion Heifer exhibitor Gabe Mitchell of the Gilchrist County Buccaneers 4-H Club is pictured. From the left are Casey Mitchell, Briar Mitchell, Show Judge Lawson Mozley, Cynthia Mitchell, Gabe Mitchell and Heifer Show Superintendent Lint Jerrels.
Heifer Show Judge Lawson Mozely carefully examines a class of heifers.
Story and Photos
By Terry Witt
Senior Reporter © March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
FANNING SPRINGS -- Ryleigh Locke, 9, a budding Bronson cattle exhibitor, won Grand Champion Heifer honors Saturday (March 11) at the Suwannee River Fair Livestock Show and Sale using genes from a bull that died two years ago.
Her father, Dallas Locke, the FFA advisor and agriculture instructor at Chiefland High School, said the heifer began life as a flushed embryo fertilized by frozen sperm from his favorite bull, Northern Improvement.
“He’s been deceased a couple of years. We put some old school genetics back in our herd,” Locke said. “He’s my favorite bull of all time.”
The Bronson heifer was grown on the Locke family farm and therefore won the Homegrown Grand Champion honors as well. The Reserve Champion Heifer was exhibited by Gabe Mitchell of Gilchrist County.
The homegrown competition wasn’t needed because the two winners of the main heifer competition were homegrown.
Ryleigh won Grand Champion honors with her feeder steer last year, an artificially inseminated animal. Most of the family’s cattle are Angus with a few registered Angus with Brahma and crossbred influence.
Ryleigh, daughter of Dallas and Emily Robinson Locke, works hard at being an exhibitor. Hours of work are part of her every afternoon as she walks the steer, washes it and blow dries it.
This routine has helped to tame the animal. She has shown the heifer in eight competitions this year. Her dedication paid off in the show ring Saturday as the sometimes unpredictable heifer walked around like an obedient pet dog.
The heifer was standing in front of Ryleigh as the interview took place. Grandfather Dale Locke was holding the halter. Dale and Dallas Locke said the heifer has been known to get wild from time to time, but Ryleigh knows how to handle her.
“It seems like every time she (the heifer) gets wild at the house; when we go to a show she acts like a puppy dog,” he said. “We’re always nervous because we never know when she’s going to blow up.”
Showing cattle is a family talent. Dallas began showing his first Angus heifer purchased by his grandfather when he was 8 years old. Ryleigh showed a feeder steer for the first time last year at the same age.
Ryleigh, a fourth grader at Bronson Elementary School, said she likes working with cattle and she will probably be recognized by the school when she returns to Bronson Elementary with her second consecutive grand champion trophy from the Suwannee River Fair.
She said the SRF is her favorite show.
Hunter Sharp wins
two championship titles again
at the Suwannee River Fair
Brooke Batey (left) won Grand Champion in Beginner Walk and Trot and Elexis Pinkard won Reserve Champion. Both are members of the Bridle Brigade 4-H Club of Levy County.
Hunter Sharp (left) won Grand Champion Performance in the Junior Division and Aari Grant won Reserve Champion in Performance.
Hunter Sharp (left) won Grand Champion Speed in the Junior Division and Jacy Roux won Reserve Champion Speed.
Madison Baynard (left) won Grand Champion Speed in the Senior Division and Carson Hardee won Reserve Champion Speed.
Burlynne Mejeris (left) won Grand Champion Performance in the Senior Division and Madison Baynard won Reserve Champion Performance.
Jacy Roux rounds the corner in barrels competition.
Reese Solowski, 9, takes a sharp corner as she looks ahead to the remainder of the course.
Horse Show Judge Rebecca Ten Broeck evaluates a group of Junior Division riders in Performance.
Olivia Kofmehl, 12, of Citrus County shows off a saddle horn of ribbons for her performances in the horse show. She belongs to the Outdoors Adventure 4-H Club in Morriston.
Story and Photos
By Terry Witt
Senior Reporter © March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
FANNING SPRINGS -- The annual Suwannee River Fair Horse Show produced plenty of champions Saturday (March 11), and 12-year-old Hunter Sharp was a double champion for the second consecutive year, winning Grand Champion in Speed and Grand Champion in Performance both years in the Junior Division.
Sharp said he began riding horses when he was just 1 year old. His mother and father, Donna Quincey and Bud Sharp, taught him everything he knows about the sport, he said.
The Chiefland Elementary School sixth grader gave his 18-year-old horse King credit for winning the four championships.
“He’s an all-around good horse. He had my back in many situations,” Hunter said.
When asked whether King sometimes takes charge if he isn’t doing the right thing in competition, Hunter said they work together.
“It definitely takes teamwork,” Hunter said. “Sometimes he corrects me. Sometimes I correct him. It’s all a matter of teamwork.”
Hunter’s mother said King isn’t good at any one thing.
“He’s good at a lot of things,” Donna Quincey said, including napping. King appeared to be drowsing off at one point between competitions.
Hunter is very active in FFA and loves to participate in public speaking. He is dreaming of the future. He plans to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and then he will begin serving in the Navy for six years. His ultimate goal is to the fly with the Blue Angels. After the military, he wants to fly in the private sector.
His mother Donna has operated a summer horse camp for many years outside Chiefland – down the street from the Levy County Quilt Museum.
Hunter, a straight-A student who flies with his stepfather Don Quincey, a Chiefland pilot and cattleman, loves flying and plans to become a pilot at the age 15. The 12-year-old said he plans to obtain his license to fly solo by the age of 16.
“It all started when he was 3 years old; he started talking about wanting to fly,” Donna said.
Hunter added it started with a little book his mother read to him.
“He’s goal-oriented and he will do it; there’s no doubt in my mind,” she said. “This kid’s got it together. I’m not bragging, but he’s phenomenal.”
Hunter does take time for recreation. He loves hunting deer. He hunts dove, too.
“Anything outdoors I’ll try once,” he said.
First week of Suwannee River
Fair and Livestock Show
and Sale results shared
By Marti Smith of the SRF
Published March 13, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
on the Leisure Page of HardisonInk.com
FANNING SPRINGS -- The first week of Suwannee River Fair and Livestock Show and Sale results follow.
Click HERE to see the ad for the SRF on the Calendar Page. Click on the ad to see the SRF website.
Grand Champion - Hannah Quincey - Chiefland Jr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Jacy Roux - Chiefland Middle FFA
Grand Champion - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Carley Bellamy - At Large Levy 4-H
Grand Champion Pullet Pen - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion Pullet Pen - Adysen Burns - Helping Hands 4-H
Grand Champion - Meat Doe - Sams Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Grand Champion - Meat Doe - Alaina Blair - Osceola 4-H
Grand Champion - Wether - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Wether - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Costume Contest - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
1st - Dexton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
2nd - Carley Bellamy - At Large Levy 4-H
1st - Alaina Blair - Osceola 4-H
2nd - Emma Hires - Williston Middle FFA
3rd - Justin Strickland - Bronson FFA (chapter animal)
1st - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
2nd - Kaitlyn Bedford - Bronson Sr. FFA
3rd - Alana Wilkerson - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Grand Champion - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Austin Bagby - Bell Sr. FFA
Grand Champion Dairy Heifer - Easton Douglas - Southern Style 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion Dairy Heifer - Kaylee Douglas - Bell Middle FFA
1st - Elizabeth Bagby - Southern Style 4-H
2nd - Maddie Smith - Southern Style 4-H
3rd - Cayce Sullivan - Southern Style 4-H
1st - Kaylee Douglas - Bell Middle FFA
2nd - Bertha Sutterfield - Bell Middle FFA
3rd - Dalton Coleman - Osceola 4-H
1st - Austin Bagby - Bell Sr. FFA
2nd - Madison Holder - Bell Sr. FFA
3rd - Dakota Smith - Bell Middle FFA
Junior Showmanship - Grand Champion - Arri Grant - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion - Junior Performance - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Champion - Junior Performance - Arri Grant - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion - Junior Speed - Hunter Sharp - Chiefland Middle FFA
Reserve Champion - Junior Speed - Jacy Roux - Chiefland Middle FFA
Senior Showmanship - Grand Champion - Blu Langford - Eastside Explorers 4-H
Grand Champion - Senior Performance - Burlynne Mejeris - Cedar Key FFA
Reserve Champion - Senior Performance - Madison Baynard - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Grand Champion - Senior Speed - Madison Baynard - Chiefland Sr. FFA
Reserve Champion - Senior Speed - Karsyn Hardee - Kountry Bumpkins 4-H
Grand Champion - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
Grand Champion - Home Grown Heifer - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion - Home Grown Heifer - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
1st - Savannah Jerrels - Kountry Kids 4-H
2nd - Gabe Mitchell - Buckaroos 4-H
3rd - Ryleigh Locke - Kountry Kids 4-H
1st - Adli Elliott - Lil Farmers 4-H
2nd - Emma Moxley - Williston Middle FFA
3rd - Laina Teague - Buckaroos 4-H
1st - Jarrett Douglas - Bell Sr. FFA
2nd - Sam Mills - Chiefland Sr. FFA
3rd - Taylor Dean - Trenton Sr. FFA
Operatic tenor to provide
free lecture in Ocala on March 29
Story and Photo Provided
By CF Public Relations and Marketing
Published March 9, 2017 at 9:07 p.m.
on the Leisure Page of HardisonInk.com
OCALA -- Sarasota Opera apprentice and tenor Wes Hunter will give a vocal music lecture Wednesday, March 29, at 12:30 p.m. in the Dassance Fine Arts Center, Room 122, at the College of Central Florida, 3001 S.W. College Road.
In his lecture, “Growing Up Bel Canto: The Effects of the Italian Style and Repertoire on the Young Voice,” Hunter will explore the vocal music of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and how this repertoire and technique benefits young singers.
Hunter, a CF alumnus, praised for his drama, heart and shining tone, regularly performs both high bel canto repertoire and new music.
After graduating from CF, Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and master’s degree in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory.
As an artist, he has worked with conductors including Willie Anthony Waters (Florida Grand Opera), Imre Palló (Budapest State Opera) and Lidiya Yankovskaya (Juventas New Music Ensemble). Hunter most recently performed with Beth Morrison Projects, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Juventas New Music Ensemble, OperaWorks (Advanced Artist Program) MetroWest Opera and the Boston Pops Holiday Tour.
This lecture is free and no tickets are necessary. Call the CF Box Office for more information, 352-873-5810.
Kayaking fishermen invited
to compete in tournament
Enter by March 22 to save
A couple of kayak paddlers with fishing poles are seen in the Gulf of Mexico off of Cedar Key recently. These fishermen may want to compete and help efforts of the Lions Club in Yankeetown in April. There is a discount for people who register to compete before March 22.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © March 6, 2017
Published March 6, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.
on the Leisure Page of HardisonInk.com
YANKEETOWN -- The 6th Annual Nature Coast Challenge -- a catch, photograph and release kayak-based fishing tournament hosted by the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club -- is scheduled to be held Saturday April 22.
Canoes and other non-motorized watercraft also may be used for this event.
The Captain’s Meeting is set to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at the Lions Club, 22 59th St. in Yankeetown.
Everyone is invited to compete to catch and record by a photo the longest individual Redfish or Trout, the Grand Slam (combined length redfish/trout) or the “Mixed Bag” to win cash, trophies and prizes.
Second and third place winners are to be recognized with awards as well.
There is a Junior Angler prize for participants 18 years and younger.
This event is for everyone!
The donation to participate is only $45 until March 22, after which date a late entry fee of $15 is added -- to make the fee $60. Register early and save!
A fish fry dinner will be provided at the Captain’s Meeting for all participants who have registered. There are also tournament tee-shirts and captains' bags for the participants.
Visit the Tournament website - www.naturecoastchallenge.com for complete details and the application or call 352-505-7936.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 22 7:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
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