(Please Scroll Down To See The
Tri-County Varsity Football Schedules
and Updated Final Scores of Those Games

Last Update -- Sept. 10, 2017 at 3:17 p.m)

19 Florida State Parks
remain closed following
Hurricane Irma
to ensure visitor safety

Published Sept. 25, 2017 at 7:37 p.m.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service announced Monday (Sept. 25) that 155 state parks, nearly 90 percent, are open following Hurricane Irma.
     To ensure visitor safety, 19 state parks remain closed.
     The following state parks are closed until further notice:
     ● Bahia Honda State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (Dade County)
     ● Curry Hammock State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park (Collier County)
     ● Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (Monroe County)
     ● General James A. Van Fleet State Trail (Sumter, Lake and Polk counties)
     ● Highlands Hammock State Park (Highlands and Hardee counties)
     ● Hillsborough River State Park (Hillsborough County)
     ● Hontoon Island State Park (Volusia and Lake counties)
     ● Indian Key Historic State Park (Monroe County)
     ● John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Long Key State Park (Monroe County)
     ● Lovers Key State Park (Lee County)
     ● Oleta River State Park (Dade County)
     ● Paynes Creek Historic State Park (Hardee County)
     ● The Barnacle Historic State Park (Dade County)
     ● Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park (Monroe County)
     All other Florida State Parks are open at this time for day use only.
Visitor safety is paramount in the decision to reopen Florida State Parks following times of severe weather. Additionally, Florida State Parks are in constant communication with state and local emergency operations centers and will reopen based on conditions and location.
     Please visit floridastateparks.org for continuously updated information.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Irma. Visit FloridaDisaster.org for updates and information about this storm.
     The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 – Nov. 30. For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to "Get a Plan," visit FLGetAPlan.com.

Williston loses 41-40
heartbreaker to Newberry
in double overtime

Gerard Williams breaks loose for a first down around the left end.

Story and Photos
By Terry Witt, Senior Reporter © Sept. 23, 2017 at 8:57 p.m.
     NEWBERRY -- The Williston Red Devils Varsity Football Team suffered an agonizing 41-40 defeat in double overtime to the Newberry Panthers Friday night (Sept. 22) at Newberry’s homecoming.
     The hitting was fierce. The scoring was off the charts. Three game officials were knocked to the ground during game. One official never returned. He said his leg was bent backwards in an awkward way and his hips were hurting him. He had to be helped off the field.

Williston quarterback C.J. Strange turns loose a touchdown pass. The 6-foot 3-inch junior quarterback showed his passing talent Friday night.

Newberry runner Tresell Curtis is trapped by Williston defenders in the end zone for a safety.

The Williston High School Band belts out a tune during a game timeout.

Greg Miller and Scarlett MacDonald were crowned Newberry homecoming royalty at half time.

The Williston High School defense kept Newberry out of the end zone three times on this goal line stand before the Panthers scored.

     Newberry is Class 3A, and Williston is Class 1A.
     But this was a rivalry game nonetheless. The very fact that Newberry invited the Red Devils to be their homecoming opponent meant a battle was brewing. The invitation wasn’t a compliment.
     The Red Devils came close to winning the game, but came up one point shy of victory.
     In the second overtime, Newberry handed the ball to their big running back, Sylvester Pernell, for the final play of the game. He found blocking off the right side of the line and ran for the two-point conversion.
     Many of the Red Devil players dropped to their knees in disgust and frustration. The Panthers celebrated their homecoming win before a jam-packed crowd of Newberry fans.
     Williston Head Varsity Football Coach Justin Wentworth said his boys played a great game except for special teams.
     “Great game; Overtime; we didn’t do what we needed to do,” Wentworth said afterward.
     Panther Football Coach Richard Vester cited the Panther offensive line as the reason for the win. He said the line gave the team opportunities to run the ball.
     “We had success running really, running the ball all night, particularly in the second half,” Vester said. “We felt pretty confident we could get three yards.”
     His confidence in the running game led to the decision to run for two points in the second overtime rather than kick the extra point.
     Williston, 2-3, is scheduled to play Fort White on Friday. Newberry, 2-2, hosts Union County.

Game Summary
     The Red Devil defense stopped the Panthers’ first drive of the night and took over at its own 23, but the Panther defense returned the favor on Williston’s first drive, forcing a field goal that missed its mark.
     The Red Devils took advantage of a second quarter Newberry fumble on a punt return and drove 12 yards to score the first points of the night, a 5 yard run by Gerard Williams. Gavin Wallace added the extra point.
     Newberry scored on its next possession when Tresell Curtis ran the kickoff back to Williston’s 30 yard line. Pernell ran for a 3 yard touchdown, but the extra point was missed. Williston kept the lead.
     Williston scored a safety on Newberry’s next possession, pinning Curtis in the Panther end zone to take a 9-6 lead over the Panthers.
     Neither team scored for the remainder of the half.
     The Red Devils had first possession in the second half, but a Newbery interception led to a 41 yard Newberry drive capped by a 15 yard scoring run by quarterback David Robinson. The extra point was good.
     Williston answered quickly with a 35 yard touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Strange to receiver Tanner Fowler. Wallace added the extra point.
     Newberry responded early in the third quarter when Pernell scored on a 5 yard run. The extra point gave Newberry a 20-14 lead.
     Williston answered the call by driving 60 yards to score on a 5 yard run by Williams. Wallace added the extra point. The score was 23-20 with Williston in the lead.
     Newberry responded when Pernell broke through a Williston goal line stand to score from 5 yards out. The extra point failed. Newberry led 26-23.
     Williston tied the game after driving from its own 35 to score on a 20 yard field goal by Wallace.
     Newberry was unable to score on its final possession in regulation. The game went into overtime.
     Sylvester ran for a score in the first overtime. The extra point was good. But Williston answered on a 5 yard touchdown pass from Strange to Jermiah James in the corner of the end zone. Wallace added the extra point.
     Williston answered when Strange ran a quarterback keeper behind his offensive line for a touchdown. Wallace added the extra point. Williston led 40-33.
     Newberry answered with a 3 yard run by Robinson. The Panthers took a time out to talk about it. They handed the ball to Sylvester for a two point conversion run.
     Game over.

Idle speed, no wake
on part of Suwannee River;

Idle-speed, no-wake restrictions
are still being enforced on
Santa Fe River’s zones 5, 6, 7 and 8

By Karen Parker of the FWC
Published Sept. 21, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.
All of the Santa Fe River and parts of the Suwannee River are idle-speed, no-wake zones now.
     All four idle-speed, no-wake zones on the Santa Fe River remain activated because of the flooding from Hurricane Irma, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
     “Although the river’s water levels are falling, these four zones’ speed restrictions are still in effect,” said Capt. Martin Redmond, area supervisor. “Our officers are continuing their patrols. Public safety is paramount as we continue our storm response to get Floridians back to working and recreating in Florida.”
     Zone 5 runs from the Santa Fe River at the River Rise in O’Leno State Park downstream to the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge when the river is 34.2 feet or higher on the High Springs gauge. Today, the gauge is at 38.51 feet.
     Zone 6 is from the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge downstream to .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge when the river is 23.25 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge. Today, the gauge is at 27.77 feet.
     Zone 7 becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 18.75 feet. This zone runs from .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge, downstream to an unnamed island at 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W. Today, the gauge is at 20.57.
     Zone 8 begins at an unnamed island approximately 4.25 miles upstream from the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers (coordinates: 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W) and ends at the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. This includes the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. 27 Bridge. This zone activates when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 16.25 feet. Today, the gauge is at 20.57.
     An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerageway and headway. At no time is any vessel required to proceed so slowly that the operator is unable to control it or anything it may be towing.
The other idle-speed, no-wake zones on the Suwannee River are:
     Zone 1: From the U.S. 90 Bridge at Ellaville south to the State Road 51 Bridge at Luraville. This 39-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 46.25 feet or more above mean sea level at the Ellaville gauge.
     Zone 2: From the S.R. 51 Bridge at Luraville to Little River Spring. This 18-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 25.25 feet or more at the Branford gauge.
     Zone 3: Runs from Little River Spring to the County Road 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff. This 23-mile segment becomes an idle-speed, no-wake zone when the Suwannee River reaches 23.25 feet at the Branford gauge.
     Zone 4: From the centerline of the C.R. 340 Bridge at Rock Bluff to approximately 300 feet southwest of the New Clay Landing Boat Ramp, from approximately 6,000 feet north of the Camp Azalea Boat Ramp to approximately 1,300 feet south of the Yellow Jacket Landing, and from approximately 2,000 feet northeast of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp to approximately 1 mile southwest of the Fowler’s Bluff Boat Ramp when the river level is 8.35 feet or higher on the Wilcox gauge.
     For more information about the flood zones, call 386-758-0525. To report violations, call 888-404-3922.
     To obtain real-time river level information, visit MySuwanneeRiver.com.

Big Bend Shellfish Trail
official opening set for Oct. 21

These orange and blue clam baskets show some of the bountiful harvest from Cedar Key.

Photo by UF/IFAS

Information and Photo Provided
Published Oct. 20, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.
     BRONSON --
The official opening of the Big Bend Shellfish Trail and ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled to be during the 48th Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Cedar Key City Park Pavilion.
     The public is invited to participate in this historic event.
     The Levy County Board of County Commissioners received a grant award of $20,000 from The Conservation Fund to produce The Big Bend Shellfish Trail Map. One of five collaborative grants awarded across the Big Bend counties—Dixie, Jefferson, Levy, and Taylor counties -- this funding encourages partnerships to strengthen the region's economic vitality while simultaneously ensuring the ongoing health of its natural resources.
     “A number of partners participated in the creation of Florida’s first Shellfish Trail Map and the largest trail of its kind in the United States. This project will showcase our working waterfront communities and encourages economic growth in Levy County and in the Big Bend Region,” Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks said.
     Over the past two years, Levy County Visitors Bureau implemented the project by developing a map and website that features a section of the Big Bend region that includes Levy, Dixie, Taylor and Jefferson counties.
     The trail will provide people with information about where to buy and eat local shellfish, and how to take an active role in protecting water quality and habitat for shellfish industries within the Big Bend Region.
     The trail highlights where recreational scalloping is allowable; where to learn about commercial production of clams and oysters; the location of recreational boat ramps; and the locations of working waterfronts in this region.
     The trail identifies locations for shellfish vendors, restaurants, seafood markets, marinas, bait and tackle shops, as well as providing information on working waterfronts, and identifying key areas to protect water quality and habitats.
     The grant was provided by The Conservation Fund, a national organization that makes conservation work for America with support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
     Earlier research on the region's economy demonstrated the critical link between the area's incredible land and water resources and its economic health. The Conservation Fund created the grant program to enhance this connection and support the needs expressed by the region's leaders.
     “The new Big Bend Shellfish Trail is a wonderful educational and economic resource for the nearby communities,” Florida Representative with The Conservation Fund Lauren Day said. “We are thrilled to celebrate its completion with Levy County and its residents, and we applaud the efforts that went into creating this unique asset that will celebrate and strengthen the area’s distinctive community character and natural resources.”
     One of the leaders helping the map come to fruition is Levy County Visitors Bureau Director Carol McQueen.
     “The Big Bend Shellfish Trail Map will encourage support of local jobs and businesses, such as clam farmers, oystermen, crabbers, shrimpers, accommodations, restaurants, shops, and all service industries,” McQueen said. “By bringing more people into the region to participate along the Gulf coast trail, our communities will see economic growth due to visitor participation and buying of local shellfish products.”
     Statewide Shellfish Specialist Leslie Sturmer of the University of Florida IFAS Extension said “Oyster trails can be found in many coastal states, such as Alabama, Maine, and Virginia. There is even a clam trail in New Jersey, but nowhere in the nation is there a shellfish trail. This project showcases the diversity of our shellfisheries and aquaculture industries along the Big Bend of Florida.”
     For more information, call 877-387-5673 to receive a free map. To view an online map, brochure and road trip itineraries go to http://www.visitnaturecoast.com/big-bend.php.

Dixie Music Center
adds new music instructor

Rod Swanigan holds a fiddle. He will be instructing students on how to play banjo, fiddle and keyboard.

Information and Photo Provided
Published Sept. 16, 2017 at 3:07 p.m.
     OLD TOWN --
Dixie Music Center of Old Town is proud to announce the addition of a new instructor at the store's School of Music.
     Rod Swanigan and his wife Karen recently relocated to Dixie County and began his tenure at DMC on Sept. 16.
     Mr. Swanigan will be instructing students on banjo, fiddle, and keyboard. Prior to moving to Dixie County, the Swanigans lived in St. Petersburg where Rodney taught at Bringe Music Center since 1982.
     "We are really happy to have Rod on staff, particularly as he is so well-versed on such a variety of instruments. And one would be hard-pressed to find a more likable person," DMC's School of Music Coordinator Dotti Leichner said. "My husband Bob has known Rod since he joined the Bringe teaching staff, as Bob worked there from 1981until 1991, when we moved to North Florida to open Dixie Music Center."
     His schedule has him available for private instruction (one-on-one) Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
     For enrollment or more information, please call the store at 352-542-3001 or write to dixiemc@gmail.com.


CWGA Ladies Gator League
Golf Tournament succeeds
in wake of Hurricane Irma

Story and Photos
By Shirley Meggs, CWGA Publicist
Published Sept. 14, 2017 at 1:07 p.m
The Chiefland Women’s Golf Association hosted the annual Ladies Gator League Golf Tournament yesterday (Wednesday, Sept. 13) at the Chiefland Golf & Country Club, in Levy County, near Chiefland.
     The course was in good shape and ready to play due to the efforts and hard work of the grounds crew there. There were several large trees down and the rough was pretty rough but the ladies played on!
     Below are pictures of the winners.

First Flight (from left) Robin Cunningham (3rd Low Net), Irene Foshay (2nd Low Net), Vicki Hope (1st Low Net), and Dot Bird (1st Place Gross)

Second Flight (from left) Shirley Meggs (3rd Low Net), Sherry Dombek (2nd Low Net), Jan Hendrix (1st Low Net), and Song Kim (1st Place Gross)

Third Flight (from left)  Betty Tillis (3rd Low Net), Patty Sullivan (2nd Low Net), Carol Roberts (1st Low Net), and Elaine Edmunds (1st Place Gross)

Fourth Flight (from left)  Mary Beth Viscione (3rd Low Net), Sue Ice (2nd Low Net), Adrienne Snyder (1st Low Net), and Joann Brady (1st Place Gross)

Scholarship raffle winner
donates autographed guitar

Bob and Dotti Leichner own the Dixie Music Center. This couple is seen here at a musical event from 2016, where they brought in talent galore from near and far. The band of musicians from the Largo High School Class of 1970 (and one LHS Class of 1971) -- the Real Eyes Band – with whom Bob Leichner  played, had members coming from San Francisco, Nashville, Mobile, St. Petersburg and Old Town in 2016 to an event at the Dixie Music Center of Old Town.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 25, 2017 at 10:07 a.m.

Published Aug. 25, 2017 at 10:07 a.m.
Last spring, Dixie Music Center conducted a raffle to raise funds for the Pee Wee Melton Memorial Scholarship.
     Becky Stikeleather, of Black Mountain, N.C., was the lucky winner who had her name drawn for the presentation of a guitar that had been autographed by Easton Corbin.
     As much as this winner is a huge fan of Corbin -- a Mercury Nashville recording artist, Stikeleather said, "The idea of offering something that could make a difference in a young person's life held a great appeal to me, so I thought 'let's pay it forward.'"
     Easton began his musical career under the direction of Pee Wee Melton at the Dixie Music Center when he was a teenager.
     So Stikeleather donated the guitar back to the Dixie Music Center, which is now offering raffle tickets for another chance to win this instrument.
     Proceeds from this raffle go toward funding the Pee Wee Melton Scholarship, which is scheduled to be awarded in May of 2018 to a graduating student from Dixie County High School.
     The scholarship is handled by the Dixie Education Foundation.
     Tickets for this raffle are available for a donation of $5 each, or three for $10 and at Dixie Music Center in Old Town. Only 125 tickets have been printed for this drawing, which will be held at Dixie Music Center's 26th Anniversary Bash on Saturday Oct. 7.

Listen Here

This video shows a short clip of Al & Patty and the East Coast Band, playing one small part of a country music standards - Achy Breaky Heart; and Jamey King and the V Necks in the first few moments of that band’s stellar performance at a 2016 musical event in Old Town. Jamey King and the V Necks are (from left) Daniel Nadler on electric guitar, Jamie King on acoustic guitar, Taylor Wilson on drums and Gene Raulerson on bass guitar. This tiny taste of the amazing mix of extraordinary talent mirrors one itsy bit of the musical magic that happened in Old Town in 2016 and there is another great show planned this year on Oct. 7.

Video by Jeff M. Hardison © 2016, 2017 and beyond, All Rights Reserved

DMC XXVI is an all-day, free live music festival adjacent to the Old Town store. The winner need not be present to win. For more information, please call 352-542-3001.


Tri-County Varsity
Football Schedules
and results

By HardisonInk.com Staff
Published Aug. 19, 2017 at 4:07 p.m.
Updated Sept. 22, 2017 at 5:07 p.m.

     TRI-COUNTY AREA – The football season fir the Tri-County Area is shown here from Friday (Aug. 25).
     Following are the tentative schedules for schools in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties. These are tentative, because sometimes lightning strikes cause delays.

Bell Bulldogs
all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 25 at Home vs. Maclay (Marauders of Tallahassee) W 34-24
Sept. 1 at Home vs. Eagle’s View (Warriors of Jacksonville) W 21-6
(Updated) Sept. 8 (still) at Franklin County (Seahawks of Eastpoint) W 8-0
Sept. 15 at Home vs. Hawthorne Hornets L 41-14
Sept. 22 at Mayo (Hornets of Lafayette County) L 14-12
Sept. 29 at P.K. Yonge (Blue Wave of Gainesville)
* Oct. 13 at Home vs. Trenton Tigers
Oct. 20 at Branford (Buccaneers)
* Oct. 27 Homecoming vs. Bronson Eagles
* Nov. 3 at Wildwood (Wildcats)

Bronson Eagles
all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 at Lafayette High School (Hornets of Mayo) L 45-8
Sept. 7 at Oak Hall (Eagles of Gainesville) L 41-7
Sept. 15 at Home vs. P.K. Yonge Blue Wave of Gainesville (Cancelled)
Sept. 22 at St. Francis Catholic (Wolves of Gainesville) L 44-8
* Sept. 29 at Home vs. Trenton Tigers
Oct. 6 at Home vs. Wildwood Wildcats
Oct. 13 at Home vs. Branford Buccaneers
* Oct. 20 at Chiefland Indians
* Oct. 27 at Bell Bulldogs
Nov. 3 at Home vs. Hawthorne Hornets

Chiefland Indians
all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 25 at Home vs. Trenton Tigers L 37-21
Sept. 1 at Home vs. Branford Buccaneers W 7-0

Sept. 7 at Home vs. Lafayette High School (Hornets of Mayo) L 41-17
Sept. 15 at Jasper (Trojans of Hamilton County) (Cancelled)
Sept. 21 at Home vs. Dixie County Bears L 42-7
Oct. 6 at Hilliard (Red Flashes of Nassau County)
* Oct. 13 Homecoming vs. Hawthorne Hornets
* Oct.20 at Home vs. Bronson Eagles
Oct. 27 at Agape Christian (Saints of Orlando)
* Nov. 3 at Williston Red Devils

Dixie County Bears
all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m. (Except 6 p.m. on Sept. 7)
Aug. 25 at Home vs. Jefferson County (Tigers of Monticello) W 43-6
Sept. 1 at Home vs. Trenton Tigers W 27-14
Sept. 7 - 6 p.m. at Baldwin (Indians of Duval County) W 34-0
Sept. 15 at Union County (Fightin’ Tigers of Lake Butler) W 20-7
Sept. 21 at Chiefland Indians W 42-7
Sept. 29 at Home vs. Taylor County (Bulldogs of Perry)
Oct. 6 at Home vs. Trojans of Hamilton County (Jasper)
Oct. 13 at Newberry Panthers
Oct.20 at Home vs. Fort White (Indians of Columbia County)
* Oct. 27 at Williston Red Devils

Trenton Tigers
All kickoffs at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 25 at Chiefland Indians W 37-21
Sept. 1 at Dixie County Bears L 27-14
(Updated) (Updated) Sept. 7 (was Sept. 8) at Home vs. South Sumter (Raiders of Bushnell) W 34-14
Sept. 15 at Home vs. Branford Buccaneers (Cancelled)
* Sept. 29 at Bronson Eagles
Oct. 6 at Home vs. Newberry Panthers
* Oct. 13 at Bell Bulldogs
* Oct.20 Homecoming vs. P.K. Yonge Blue Wave
Oct. 27 at Home vs. Hornets of Mayo (Lafayette County)
Nov. 3 at Jasper (Trojans of Hamilton County)

Williston Red Devils
all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m., except the 7 p.m. one on Sept. 15 against Madison County
Sept. 1 at Eastside (Rams of Gainesville) W 21-5
Sept. 7 at Seven Rivers (Christian Warriors of Lecanto) W 28-14
Sept. 16 at Home vs. Madison County Cowboys L 54-22
Sept. 22 at Newberry Panthers L 41-40
Oct. 6. at Fort White (Columbia County) Indians
Oct. 13 at Home vs. Taylor County (Bulldogs of Perry)
Oct. 20 at Union County (Fightin’ Tigers of Lake Butler)
* Oct. 27 at Home vs. Dixie County Bears
* Nov. 3 at Home vs. Chiefland Indians

MONDAY  Sept. 25  7:37 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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