Squadron of Martins
intercept The Dragonfly

The Dragonfly camera views the landing pad, which is the hood of the news Jeep that serves as part of the HardisonInk.com fleet, as well as a personal transportation vehicle for hobbyist missions and the like.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 21, 2017 at 9:17 a.m.
A squadron of Martins intercepted The Dragonfly on Thursday morning (July 20) when the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) was on a hobby-oriented practice flight in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     Hobbyist UAS Pilot Jeff Martin Hardison said this was his first experience where birds appeared to take an interest in the flying machine.

This narrated 2-minute video shows a launch from the news Jeep’s hood, a flight up, a look around over a pasture, some Martins buzzing the drone and then a return to the launch pad of Thursday morning.

     "Martins are great birds," Hardison said. "They eat mosquitoes. They must have perceived the drone as a competitor for food. They did not fly too close to it for safety. They probably used the gang method of attempted bird intimidation. No birds were injured. It really was rather interesting, like a ballet in the air."
     The pilot mentioned that his middle name is from his late great uncle and godfather Martin Forsyth of St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia).
     Hardison said he was visiting a friend who has some pasture that provides a good place for flying. The friend prefers not to let the location be known.
     The drone never flew above 400 feet, and it remained in view of the operator at all times.

Below are some still shots taken during the two-minute flight over a pasture in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.

Firearms course set to
raise funds for
Williston Police Department

Published July 20, 2017 at 7:37 p.m.
By WPD Deputy Chief of Police Clay Connolly
The Friends of Williston Police Inc. is offering a firearms training course for seekers of a Concealed Firearms License on Aug. 18 and 19.
     The classroom portion will be from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday night (Aug. 18).
     The Range portion will be the next day (Saturday, Aug. 19) from 9 a.m. to Noon or from 1 to 4 p.m., depending on the order of registration. A signup sheet will be held at the Williston Police Department and slots will be held on a first-come / first-served basis.
     The course consists of four hours of classroom training and three hours of range experience. Instructors will be law enforcement and/or NRA certified trainers. The cost of the class is $75 per person. Class size will be held to a maximum of 32 students. You can also find a pre-registration form at our website: www.willistonpolice.org. Payment is required to hold your spot.
     The class is a fundraiser for the trust and the money goes to police events and projects not funded by the city budget. Participants will NOT have to supply their own firearms. Guns and ammo will be provided. Students WILL have to provide ear and eye protection. NO FIREARMS OR AMMO WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM. ALL FIREARMS ARE TO BE UNLOADED AND IN SAFE CONDITION UPON ENTRY INTO THE RANGE.
     The classroom portion will be held in the Williston City Council room at 50 NW Main Street and the range instruction will be held at the Williston Shooters Club at the first entrance to the airport off of U.S. 41 south of Williston (Southwest 19th Avenue).
     Our sincere thanks go to the Williston Shooters Club for the loan of the range and their support for this class! We also thank the NRA for providing weapons and ammunition for this event. Anyone with questions can call me (Clay Connolly) at 352-528-4991 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Spotted seatrout workshops
set for late July/early August;

FWC needs your input
Published July 20, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.
     FLORIDA --
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) needs your input on spotted seatrout management.
     The FWC is hosting spotted seatrout public workshops throughout the state in late July and early August. Learn more about the current status of spotted seatrout and share your input on management of this fishery by attending one of these workshops.
     Workshops will be from 6 to 8 p.m. local time:
July 25: Carrabelle, American Legion, 2316 Oak St.
July 26: Panama City, Gulf Coast State College, Student Union Building, Conference Room 232A, 5230 W. U.S. Highway 98.
July 27: Pensacola, Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I St.
July 31: Cedar Key, Senator George G. Kirkpatrick Marine Laboratory, 11350 S.W. 153rd Court.
Aug. 1: Crystal River, City Hall Council Chamber, 123 N.W. U.S. Highway 19.

Aug. 2: St. Petersburg, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Ave. S.E.
Aug. 3: Naples, South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway.
Aug. 7: Jacksonville, Jacksonville Public Library Southeast Regional, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd.
Aug. 8: Melbourne area, Brevard County Government Center, Space Coast Room, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.
Aug. 9: Fort Pierce, St. Lucie Commission Chambers, Third Floor Meeting Room 303, 2300 Virginia Ave.
     If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, submit comments online by CLICKING HERE.

Column and Photo
By Myrtice Scabarozi © July 18, 2017 @ 11:47 p.m.
The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday (July 13) at the Levy County Quilt Museum -- 11050 N.W. 10th Ave. (near Levyville, kind of on the way to Judson on Levy County Road 134 from U.S. Alt. 27).
     Marie is to look for some tea-dyed fabric to back the quilt we hope to enter in the 2019 Florida State Fair in Tampa. The quilt top is about 50 years old and we want to make the quilt look great. 
     It’s July and many places are having Christmas in July sales. We have Christmas items out year-round and lots of ideas for gift giving. It’s so hard to think about Christmas when it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
     Don’t forget the Backyard Pickers will be here Saturday, Aug. 5.

Horne Family Reunion on Aug. 1
     The Poley Horne Family Reunion is scheduled to be held Sunday, Aug. 1 at the Levy County Quilt Museum beginning at 10 a.m., and we invite you to come early to catch up on family news.
     Lunch will be at 12:30 p.m.
      For more information, call Jestine Brock at 352-463-2101 or call The Quilt Museum at 352-493-2801.
     James Napoleon (Poley) Horne 1863-1960 married Lewgenia Macenia Keene (1877-1901) in 1882.   He later married Willie E Southall (1877-1954)
      Children of Poley and Lewgenia are John L Horne (1882-1969), Cora Jane Horne Arrington (1885-1973), William Ross Horne (1887 – 1977), Zeffie L Horne Tew Brown ( 1887-1965 ), Robert Cole Horne (1890-1979), Frances F Horne Mercer ( 1893-1970 ), Julie Harley Horne Swilley Cason (1895-1936), Arcadia Horn Swilley (1897-1990) Joseph Ferris Horne (1900 – 1964) and Delmar Clyde (Horne (1901-1959).

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Swilley Family Reunion set for July 23
Published July 4, 2017 at 8:27 a.m.
Updated July 18, 2017 at 11:47 p.m.
The Swilley Family Reunion of 2017 is scheduled to be held Sunday, July 23, at the Pavilion at Hart Springs in Gilchrist County.
     Lunch is slated to be served at 12:30 p.m., and family and friends are invited to come early and share pictures or stories about the family. Any and all Swilley family or friends are very welcome to attend.
     Following is some of the family ancestry. Franklin Noel Swilley (1846-1931) married Minerva Orange Rowe (1858-1930). They had the following children: Samuel Swilley (1876-1900), Maggie Lorene Swilley Brown (1876-1937), Thomas Jacob (1880-1961), Kenneth Robert (1882-1945), Clement Scott (1884 – 1967), Mary Louise Swilley Jones (1887-1972), Reezin Rufus Frank Swilley (1889-1918), Sallie Swilley Moore (1891-1934), Annice Gay Swilley Brock (1893-1948), Call Rowe Swilley (1896-1959) and Clyatt Orlando Swilley (1896-1968).
     Family and friends are requested to bring a covered dish. Ice and paper goods will be provided. For more information, please call Sammie at 352-493-4406.

A Quick Aerial Tour Of Fort Fanning

A section of sidewalk is seen as it goes parallel with the Suwannee River. There are benches next to the river there too.

This 3-minute 16-second narrated video shows part of historic Fort Fanning, which is near the crossroads for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties. Fort Fanning was an important United States Army post built on the southern banks of the Suwannee River during the Second Seminole War. That war was also known as the Florida War. That conflict was from 1835 to 1842 in Florida between the United States of America and various groups of Native Americans collectively known as Seminoles. Florida became a state in 1847.

This view of where one sidewalk intersect with another one shows some of the attractive layout of the park next to the Suwannee River.

The fort was often visited by Brig. Gen. Zachary Taylor, who later became President. The site is now preserved as Fort Fanning Historic Park in the City of Fanning Springs. The fort was named for Col. Alexander Campbell Wilder Fanning. He was one of the first graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He came to Florida in 1818 as a major under the command of Gen. Andrew Jackson. When the fort was built in 1838, it was named in his honor. Fort Fanning Historic Park is now a beautiful memorial to the individuals who served there. The gate of the fort has been reconstructed along with a small section of stockade. Visitors can walk on sidewalks that lead to overlooks along the Suwannee River. There is no charge to visit the historic site. It was developed through a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program grant and it opened in the early 2000s to the general public after Fanning Springs Mayor Carol McQueen and the Fanning Springs City Council had a ribbon-cutting ceremony back then.

Photos and Video By Jeff M. Hardison © July 15, 2017 at 9:47 a.m., All Rights Reserved


Run For The Money

The Key Training Center of Lecanto focuses on kindness, love, dignity and respect as it goes about its mission of assisting the 300-plus clients there who are persons with developmental disabilities.

The mission includes helping those individuals achieve their God-given potential through an array of individualized services that promote growth, choice, and independence. The Run For The Money fundraiser is in its 42nd year of this 50-year-old institution. This run is a week-long, 180-mile journey from the steps of the state capitol building in Tallahassee to Lecanto.

Runners subject their bodies to the agony of U.S. Highway 19's hard, hot, and lonely stretches of asphalt in 90-plus degree heat to help the Key Center by showing that each step of this grueling run is small in comparison to the struggles mentally challenged individuals. On Thursday morning a bit after 7 a.m., two runners were on the west side of U.S. 19 between Chiefland and Otter Creek. They were escorted by units from the Citrus County Sheriff's Office for safety, and a separate van was available for other support services. To learn more about the Key Training Center or to donate to that institution in Citrus County, please visit http://keytrainingcenter.org/info/home.

Photos and Video by Jeff M. Hardison © July 13, 2017 at 8:47 p.m., All Rights Reserved

UF professor inducted into
National 4-H Hall of Fame

By Samantha Grenrock
Published July 13, 2017 zt 7:47 p.m.

     GAINESVILLE -- Joy Cantrell Jordan, University of Florida associate professor emerita, has been named to the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
     Jordan is considered a pioneer in 4-H curriculum, developing programs now used by educators across the county.
     On Oct. 6, Jordan is scheduled to be inducted with 15 other 4-H leaders at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Laureates are recognized for their significant contribution to 4-H, the nation’s premier youth development organization that serves over six million youth nationwide.
     “It is quite an honor to be nominated by colleagues you know and work with, but even more so to be selected by others,” Jordan said. “I hope I made a difference in the lives of the youth, volunteers and faculty I served. I have always truly believed in the Cooperative Extension outreach mission of ‘helping people help themselves,’ and beginning that process with 4-H.”
     Jordan grew up in Mississippi and was a 4-H in her youth. She began her 4-H career in Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension, where she is also an alumna. In 1988, she joined UF, where she was a member of the UF department of family, youth and community sciences, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
     During her tenure, Jordan’s research focused on how 4-H can make the biggest difference in youths’ skill sets, career decisions and lifestyle choices. Her and her colleagues’ projects brought numerous high-profile grants to the university.
     “Joy Jordan was instrument in several of UF’s National Science Foundation grants for over $2 million,” said Marilyn Norman, associate professor emerita and former Florida state 4-H program leader. “These grants supported our study of how citizenship programs affect youth and how to engage youth in citizen science.”
     Jordan's mentorship impacted many youth development professionals over the course of her career, said Sarah Hensley, UF/IFAS Extension 4-H state specialized agent for youth curriculum and evaluation.
     “Dr. Jordan is the definition of a mentor. As a UF grad student I worked for her, and she in turn supported me as a young Extension agent and saw potential in me that I did not know was there,” Hensley said. “Now I serve in the position she once held, and I am indebted to her. I am just one of many Extension professionals in 4-H youth development whom Joy invested in and whom attribute their success to her.”
     Since retiring in 2011, Jordan continues to hold leadership roles related to youth development, and serves as an advocate for the 4-H program, reflecting her deep commitment to the next generation.
     “The impacts 4-H makes today are the same it has been making for decades — helping kids gain skills in leadership, public speaking, personal confidence and decision-making,” Jordan said. “The most recent research shows us that 4-H provides youth a safe environment in which to grow, take some risks and learn from experiences. For today’s youth, that may be the most significant impact of 4-H.”

Six UF/IFAS faculty members
receive national educator awards

(back row, from left) Al Wysocki, Deb Barry, Kirby Barrick, Marti Gillen, Deb Murie, Andrea Lucky, Lisa Lundy, Sky Georges, Andrew Thoron, Brian Myers and Joel Brendemuhl; and (front row, from left) Xin Zhao, Becky Raulerson, Brantlee Spakes Richter, Kati Lawson and Elaine Turner. Attendees not pictured: Brian Pearson, Wendy Dahl and Taylor Ruth. Awardee not in attendance: Kevin Kenworthy.
Story and Photo Provided
Published July 11, 2017 at 11:27 p.m.
Faculty of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences were honored for their teaching acumen in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the 63rd annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) conference in June.
     Each year, the NACTA conference recognizes faculty, staff and students across the nation who are on the cutting edge of teaching agriculture and related disciplines at the university level. Recipients of the NACTA Educator Award are evaluated on their teaching philosophy; recommendations by students, alumni, peers and administrators; and a self-evaluation. 
     Seventeen UF faculty and two graduate students contributed to the conference through workshops as well as oral and poster presentations in the areas of online and digital education tools, student assessments, collaborative projects, curriculum, student employment, hands-on learning experiences and study abroad opportunities. Several UF/CALS alumni who are now faculty at other postsecondary institutions also attended and presented at the conference.
     “UF/CALS is consistently recognized for its teaching excellence, one of our college’s top priorities,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “More than 50 UF/IFAS faculty have earned the NACTA Educator Award since 1990. We are proud of this year’s UF/CALS recipients for their innovative teaching methods.”
     The following faculty members received 2017 NACTA Educator Awards:
     • Martie Gillen, an assistant professor in the family, youth and community sciences department. She hopes her students “become engaged in and passionate about the issues that affect society” through experiential learning. When the opportunity arises, she likes to use the community as her classroom through service learning and events. Gillen’s students said she is approachable, encouraging and enthusiastic when teaching. Her department chair noted that Gillen is “tireless in her quest to continue to improve her courses.”
     • Kevin Kenworthy, professor in the agronomy department. Kenworthy said the driving force behind his approach to teaching is considering how his students will learn and retain information from his courses. He finds different ways for students to personally relate to the subject matter. One of Kenworthy’s students mentioned that many of her friends and peers hope to have him as their genetics professor. “Both graduate and undergraduate students are drawn to work with Dr. Kenworthy as they know he puts their welfare ahead of his own,” his department chair said.
     • Andrea Lucky, assistant scientist in the entomology and nematology department. Lucky firmly believes that active participation in the scientific process is essential to learning. This is why she finds unique opportunities for her students to “learn by doing” through field trips, art and citizen science projects. A former student studying finance said Lucky’s “enthusiastic teaching and dedication in and out of class was the sole reason that made me want to pursue a minor in entomology and nematology.” 
     • Lisa Lundy, associate professor in the agricultural education and communication department. Lundy’s teaching philosophy centers around experiential learning opportunities for students to create communications solutions for real problems. Her students characterize her as an authentic, dedicated, inspirational, driven and innovative educator. One of her peer faculty members mentioned Lundy always ensures her curriculum incorporates the latest instructional and communication technologies in the classroom. 
     • Debra Murie, associate professor in the school of forest resources and conservation. Murie aims to challenge students to question current knowledge and approaches to natural resources through current issues in the fisheries industry. Students note that some of their most memorable learning experiences in Murie’s classroom came from Murie’s own first-hand experiences and case studies. Murie’s peers said she has a commitment to continuous curriculum development and always has a willingness to improve her students’ learning experience. 
     • Brian Pearson, assistant professor of environmental horticulture at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center. As a teacher of both distance education programs and in-person courses, Pearson’s student learning objectives utilize web-based laboratories, virtual field trips, interactive web-based lectures and national and international learning opportunities. Students appreciate Pearson’s encouraging mentorship both online and in-person. Pearson constantly works to improve his knowledge on teaching, said one of his peers.
     The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities.

FWC conducts aquatic
plant control on Lake Rousseau

Published July 8, 2017 at 9:47 a.m.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will conduct aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau from July 10 through July 21, weather permitting.

     Lake Rousseau is part of the Withlacoochee River and is located in parts of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties west of Dunnellon.
     Invasive hydrilla will be treated only in boat trails, but water lettuce and water hyacinth will be treated throughout the lake.
     Boat trails requiring hydrilla treatment to maintain navigation include Buddy’s Trail, County Trail B, Pig Pen Trail (off County Trail B), Hamic Estates Trail, Biocontrol Trail, Horseshoe Trail and Goldendale Trail.
     Biologists anticipate treating about 110 acres of hydrilla and 50 acres of water lettuce and water hyacinth with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved herbicides.
      “There will be no restrictions on recreational activities, such as fishing or swimming, during the treatment period,” said Bruce Jaggers, an FWC invasive plant management biologist. “Any edible fish caught that are legal to keep may be consumed.”
     There is a seven-day restriction for using water from treated areas for drinking or for animal consumption. However there are no restrictions for other uses of treated water such as irrigating turf, ornamental plants and crops.
     Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout Florida’s lakes and rivers. While recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters may see some benefits from hydrilla, there are other potential impacts to consider including negative impacts to beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation and the aesthetic qualities of lakes. The FWC strives to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.
     Go to MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on “Invasive Plants” to find out more about invasive plant management, including “Frequently Asked Questions.”
     For more information contact Bruce Jaggers at 352-726-8622.

Summer Reminder To Recycle Fishing Line

This Monofilament Recycle Bin is located at the Gulf of Mexico, near the boat ramp on Levy County Road 40 in Yankeetown. It is sponsored and maintained by the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club. Summer is prime time for boating and fishing. That makes it a great time for water enthusiasts to remember about the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. This program is dedicated to reducing the environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line. Every day, improperly discarded monofilament fishing line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds become injured from entanglements, or they might ingest the line, often dying as a result. Human divers and swimmers are at risk from entanglements and the line can damage boat propellers. Monofilament fishing line can last up to 600 years in the environment. In cooperation with UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station (https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/) and Florida Sea Grant, various civic and service organizations have sponsored recycle bins in Citrus, Levy, Dixie and Taylor counties. Seven bins are located along the Cross Florida Greenway Trail by the canal. Additional bins are located at the following boat ramps: Barge Canal Public Ramp, Levy County Road 40 Public Ramp at the Gulf /Yankeetown, Withlacoochee River Ramp/Boat Basin Park, Yankeetown, Jena Public Boat Ramp/Steinhatchee, Steinhatchee Public Ramp/Steinhatchee and the Keaton Beach Public Boat Ramp/Perry. Sponsoring organizations collect, clean and cut the line to recycle size. Between January and June of this year, in excess of 20 gallons of line has been collected from these bins.  With your help this amount can easily be quadrupled between now and Dec. 31. Please help keep waterways monofilament tangle-free by recycling fishing line responsibly.
Published July 4, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided by Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club President Donna Norton



Bowhunter course set for Aug. 26
Published June 29, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.
     NEWBERRY --
Florida bowhunters are scheduled to have an opportunity to attend a National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) certified bowhunter education course in August in Alachua County, according to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

     The course will take place Aug. 26 in Newberry at 8 a.m. The specific location for the class will be given to those who register in advance.
     The course is conducted using the online, distance learning format. A bowhunting enthusiast accesses the program on the NBEF website by entering through the Florida portal and completing the online classroom topics before attending a shortened, interactive field day.
     The Florida course is found at Bowhunter-ed.com/Florida.
     "While these courses do not satisfy the hunter education requirements for Florida, they are educational, informative and well worth taking," FWC Hunter Safety Coordinator Steve Robbins said.
     Robbins is based in the FWC North Central Regional Office in Lake City.
     Participants in this program can expect to learn all aspects of bowhunting, including:
     ● History of bowhunting;
     ● Safe and responsible bowhunting;
     ● Know your bow and arrow;
     ● Preparing for the hunt;
     ● Shot placement and game recovery;
     ● Use of elevated stands and other techniques; and
     ● Outdoor preparedness.
     Participants must bring their own equipment, including bow and field-tipped arrows. Students should register for the course they choose by calling the FWC's North Central Regional Office at 386-754-1654 or by visiting MyFWC.com/Bowhunt. Students of all ages may participate.
     Questions about the class can be directed to the FWC North Central Regional Office at 386-754-1654.

SATURDAY  JULY 22  7:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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