Stan Griffis resigns as judge;
Governor sets deadline
of May 27 for six nominees

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 23, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE –
The Eighth Judicial Circuit Court judge who was formerly handling civil circuit court cases in Levy County and Gilchrist County resigned unexpectedly, effective April 30, according to information provided by Eighth Judicial Circuit Court Operations Manager Christy Cain, during a telephone interview on May 23.

 

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CareerSource Citrus Marion Levy  HardisonInk.com


     Circuit Court Judge Stanley “Stan” Griffis III resigned effective April 30 at 5 p.m., according to an April 22 he sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
     The letter was only two sentences long. After noting the date and time of the resignation taking effect, Circuit Court Judge Griffis noted “It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of a latch alone, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties since 2007.”
     Gov. DeSantis accepted the resignation and activated the Eighth Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee.
     The governor told the committee that the deadline to submit six names was May 27, according to records. The governor will take some number of days to interview the nominees, Cain said, and then he’ll make his appointment.
     Griffis was elected circuit judge in 2006 and was reelected for another six-year term in November of 2018 after no other candidates sought that bench, according to records.
     Griffis’ caseload was assigned to Alachua County Court Judge Susan Miller-Jones, Cain said, until the replacement judge takes the bench.


Commissioner of Agriculture:
Florida farmers are endangered
by President Trump's proposals

Written By The FDACS Communications Office
Published May 21, 2019 at 9:19 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
On Monday (May 20), Vice President Mike Pence visited Jacksonville to promote the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, as the Trump Administration faces bipartisan labor, environmental, and agricultural opposition to the deal.
     “This supposed ‘better deal’ is a bad deal for Florida farmers," Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki said in regard to Vice President Pence's Florida visit, "and (it) could put farms out of business. Smoke and mirrors from the White House won’t help our proud but struggling farmers. In a state that depends on agriculture, we can’t afford a trade agreement that allows Mexico to continue dumping artificially low-priced seasonal crops into our country.
     "Mexico’s unfair trade practices and lower safety standards and labor costs are putting Florida’s seasonal crop growers at risk," she continued. "That’s why I’ve encouraged Florida’s Congressional delegation to not support the USMCA until our seasonal crop growers get the protections they deserve. If the Trump Administration wants to put America first, they should put Florida’s farmers first, and help them compete on a level playing field. Until that happens, this new deal isn’t anything new – just a worsening of 25 years of NAFTA’s failures.”
     Commissioner Fried has also been critical of President Trump’s China tariffs threatening a potential new deal exporting Florida blueberries to China. Last week, she spoke before Congress on the need to protect Florida farmers from unfair trade practices.
     Agriculture is Florida’s second largest industry, with a $132 billion economic impact and 47,000 farms supporting two million jobs. Florida farmers growing seasonal, perishable crops like strawberries, blueberries, and peppers are highly affected by unfair trade practices.

 



Overcome The Myths
Surrounding 529 Plans

Published May 20, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
     NEWBERRY --
If you want to help pay for your children’s college educations, you might want to consider contributing to a 529 plan.
     With this plan, your earnings grow federally tax-free, as long as the withdrawals are used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition and room and board. Yet, you may have heard some things about 529 plans that are keeping you from investing in one. However, these concerns may be more myth than reality – so let’s take a look at a few of them.
     • “I need a lot of money to contribute to the plan.”
     This myth has essentially no truth to it. Typically, only a modest amount is required to open your 529 plan, and you can generally transfer small sums to it from your checking or savings account.
     • “If my child doesn’t go to college, I lose out on the money I’ve put in.”
     This myth runs counter to one of the 529 plan’s greatest benefits: flexibility. If you’ve named one child (or grandchild) as a beneficiary of a 529 plan, and that child or grandchild decides against pursuing higher education, you can simply change the beneficiary to another eligible family member. Furthermore, if none of your intended beneficiaries will need the 529 plan, you can name yourself the beneficiary and use the money to take classes or receive some other type of qualified education opportunity. In a worst-case scenario, in which the money is never used for education, you will be taxed on the earnings portion of the withdrawals – but had you never contributed to a 529 plan, the funds would have been taxed, anyway. (However, you might be subject to a 10 percent penalty tax, in addition to regular income taxes, again on the earnings portion of the withdrawals.)
     • “I have to invest in my own state’s plan.”
     Not true. You’re free to invest in the 529 plan of any state, no matter where you live. But it could be advantageous for you to invest in your own state’s plan, as you might receive some tax breaks for state residents. (The tax issues for 529 plans can be complex, so you’ll want to consult with your tax advisor about your situation.) Investing in your own state’s plan also might provide access to financial aid and scholarship funds, along with possible protection from creditors.
     • “A 529 plan will destroy my child’s chances for financial aid.”
     While a 529 plan could affect your child’s financial aid prospects, it might not doom them. And the benefits of building significant assets in a 529 plan could outweigh the potential loss of some needs-based financial aid.
     Before investing in a 529 plan, you’ll want to explore it thoroughly, as you would any investment. You can find details about a 529 plan’s investment options, share classes, fees, expenses, risks and other information in the plan’s program description or offering statement, which you should read carefully before making any purchasing decisions.
     But, in any case, don’t let “myths” scare you off from what could be one of your best college-savings vehicles.
    PUBLISHER’S NOTE:
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Edward Jones Financial Advisor - Sheila K. Smith, 25349 W. Newberry Road, in Newberry. Phone 352-472-2776.


Safe and Reliable
Davey Tree Trims utility line in Levy County
This Davey Tree (The Davey Tree Expert Co.) vehicle has a boom arm with a saw that cuts branches, which are seen as potential threats to the safe and reliable electric service provided to members of Central Florida Electric Cooperative. As for Davey, it was founded in 1880, and has been employee owned since 1979.


~
The video above shows the machine at work.

Davey has been providing solutions to utilities for more than a century. In that time, regulatory and reporting requirements, customer concerns, joint-users of assets, and the number of diseased or at-risk trees have increased dramatically. What hasn’t changed is the value Davey delivers to clients and their customers. Davey works with clients -- like CFEC -- to optimize cost, achieve compliance, improve response time and customer satisfaction and enhance reliability. As for CFEC, since 1939, Central Florida Electric Cooperative Inc. has been proudly serving the Tri-County Area of Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties. First introduced as Rural Electric Cooperative (REA), CFEC has been providing electrical services to less-populated areas, which would not have had affordable and reliable electric utilities otherwise. At the start of 2018, CFEC had more than 35,707 active services in six counties in North Central Florida. CFEC currently serves Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, and portions of Alachua, Lafayette and Marion counties. CFEC is also an active participant in various community events. Each year, CFEC raises funds for organizations such as the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The co-op supports programs that directly benefit the people of the communities it serves.

Photo and Video By Jeff M. Hardison © May 18, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.

 


Region's jobless rate
is the lowest in 12 years

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published May 17, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
     OCALA –
How low can you go?
     The jobless rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.7 percent in April – 0.5 percentage point lower than both the March rate and the region’s year ago rate of 4.2 percent.
     The last time the region saw a comparable rate was April 2007 at 3.8 percent. 
According to the preliminary employment summary released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), there were 7,449 unemployed in the region, 932 fewer than the previous month and 1,045 less than in April 2018.
     The DEO reports the region’s labor force in April was 200,754 and there were 193,305 people working.
     Levy County, with 579 unemployed, continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4 percent, down 0.5 percentage point over the month; the last time it was 3.4 percent was March 2006 when there were 1,845 out of work. Marion County, with 4,797 jobless, followed with 3.5 percent, a drop of 0.4 percentage point over the month; the closest the county came to matching that rate was 3.6 percent in December 2006 when there were 4,8736 unemployed. Citrus County, with 2,073 unemployed, saw its rate drop 4.3 percent from 4.9 percent over the month; the county’s jobless rate is the same as in May 2007 when there were 2,904 unemployed.
     Florida’s not seasonally adjusted rate – a rate that matches how the region’s numbers are measured – was 2.9 percent, down 0.4 percentage point over the month and half a point less than April 2018.
     “It’s good that the number of unemployed has dropped for each county, that shows we continue to move in the right direction,” said Kathleen Woodring, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president. “And while, with the exception of Marion County, we’re also seeing slight decreases in the number of those with jobs, that’s certainly no cause for alarm.”
     Woodring pointed to the 12 hiring events held by CareerSource CLM in April, four more so far in May, as well as two job fairs as a sign of “robust” hiring activity in the region.
     “Businesses from Custom Windows System to AutoZone to the US Census Bureau are hiring,” she said. “We also held a Medical Career Fair in April. Earlier this week, at the sixth annual Youth Job Fair held in partnership with Marion County Public Schools, 400 candidates had the opportunity to meet with 34 businesses all eager to hire 16 to 24-year olds.”
     Here’s how the employment numbers looked for each county in the region:
     ● Citrus County’s labor force contracted by 367 to 47,694, the number of employed fell by 101  to 45,621 and the number of unemployed decreased by 266 to 2,073. Over the year, the labor force has remained about the same, growing by 5, the number of employed rose by 240 and the number of unemployed dropped by 235. 
     ● Levy County’s labor force decreased by 138 to 16,894, the number of those with jobs fell by 59 to 16,315 and the number of jobless decreased by 79 to 579. That’s 126 fewer in the labor force, compared to April 2018 when the jobless rate was also 3.6 percent, as well as 97 fewer employed and 29 fewer unemployed. 
     ● Marion County’s labor force shrank by 522 to 136,165, the number of those with jobs rose by 65 to 131,368 and the number of unemployed decreased by 587 to 4,797. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 4.1 percent, the labor force has grown by 870, the number of employed has increased by 1,651 and the number of unemployed has dropped by 781.
     Among Florida’s 67 counties, Citrus County dropped from the second to third highest rate behind Gulf and Sumter counties; Marion County continued to hold the 13th highest rate, tied with Glades, Madison and St. Lucie counties; and Levy County tied with Dixie, Flagler and Indian River counties with the 17th highest rate.
     The Homosassa Springs metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Citrus County, dropped to second highest behind The Villages among Florida’s 24 metros, while the Ocala MSA continued to hold the fifth highest rate.
Nonfarm employment for the Ocala MSA was 107,000, an increase of 2,700 jobs (+2.6 percent) over the year.
     Industries that grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide over there year were: mining, logging and construction with 600 new jobs (+7.8 percent job growth); manufacturing with 400 new jobs (+4.8 percent); professional and business services with 400 new jobs (+4.2 percent); and government with 300 new jobs (+2.0 percent).
     Other industries gaining jobs over the year were education and health services which added 600 new jobs (+3.2 percent job growth), leisure and hospitality with 300 new jobs (+2.3 percent); and trade, transportation and utilities with 200 jobs (+0.8 percentage point).
     The information industry lost 100 jobs over the year, while financial activities and other services were unchanged.
     In April 2019, nonagricultural employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 34,300, an increase of 700 new jobs over the year (+2.1 percent).
The region’s preliminary job numbers for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 21.


City's audit reflects great results
James Moore And Co. Audit of Chiefland HardisonInk.com
Zack Chalifour, CPA, speaks with the Chiefland City Commission about its annual audit review.

Story and photos
By Jeff M Hardison © May 15, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
The report of the 2018 annual audit of the city of Chiefland shows great results.

Chiefland City Commission HardisonInk.com
The City Commission on Monday night (May 13) are seen here. They are (from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones, City Commissioner Donald Lawrence and City Commissioner Norman Weaver.


     Zack Chalifour, CPA, a partner in James Moore & Co., presented a quick oral review of the findings of the review Monday night (May 13) during the regular City Commission meeting. He also provided the Commission members with bound copies of the entire external audit.
     Brendan McKitrick, CPA, and a manager in James Moore & Co., worked with Chalifour on the audit. McKitrick was on vacation; so, Chalifour made the presentation and answered questions singlehandedly Monday night.
     Chalifour thanked City Manager Mary Ellzey and the city staff for assisting in the audit, as James Moore & Co. heralds its fourth year as the city’s external auditor. James Moore & Co. has an office in Gainesville among its various offices in Florida.
     All four of the reports in the audit statement reflected the city performing extremely well in its recording all of its financial matters, Chalifour said.
     It was a very smooth audit, competed on time and with very positive results, Chalifour said.
     In regard to the first aspect – the financial statements themselves -- the firm issued a statement that the financial statements are fairly presented. This statement with no significant caveats is the best statement the city could have earned in this regard, Chalifour said.
     Other Post-Employment Benefits, though, is an area noted as being the single outlier. This issue is a non-issue in regard to having any budgetary impact or having to do with the day-to-day business of city operations, but it came to exist as part of municipal audits as the result of cities that had separate pension funds with books showing a negative amount or a deficit.
     Chiefland and other small cities that use the State Retirement System often choose to not pay an actuary to create a theoretical number to comply with government accounting standards in this regard, Chalifour said.
     This choice has no budgetary impact, Chalifour said. It is very common to see this “qualification” to the report. Not hiring an actuary to create this theoretical number, he said, is the one deviation from government accounting standards; however, this is a very common qualifier for many small municipalities.
     The second report looks at internal controls over accounting report processes. If there were any deficiencies in internal controls, the CPA firm would have to note them in a letter. There were no deficiencies or comments in that letter for Chiefland in 2018, Chalifour said.
     The third report is a management letter required by the Florida Auditor General’s Office, Chalifour said. There were no negative trends that met the threshold required for reporting, Chalifour said.  The city is in very good financial condition, he intimated, and all of the trends are going in a good direction.
     The fourth report reviewed by the external auditing team deals with cash and investments by the city. The city is in compliance with those specified statutes in that regard, Chalifour said.
     After the Certified Public Accountant completed his reports, City Manager Ellzey shared an historic perspective.
     This report, she said, reflects the status of a city with a strong and proper set of books, because the staff have been diligent in overcoming all previous noted deficiencies in the past four years.  Ellzey said she is proud of the staff’s ability to overcome all issues which previously were listed.
     James Moore & Co. has been very good to work with, Ellzey said, noting that help from the firm allowed the city to provide good accounting.
     Among the city staff who are part of the whole team working on the accounting are City Manager Ellzey, Deputy City Clerk Laura Cain, Planning Project Coordinator Belinda Wilkerson, Project and Finance Coordinator Seth Sache, and Billing Account Clerk Anita Parrish.

 


EPA announces availability
of $2.6 billion in new funding
to improve water infrastructure
across the United States

By the EPA Press Office
Published May 9, 2019 at 8:19 a.m.
     WASHINGTON, D.C. —
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 8) the availability of $2.6 billion in new funds to assist states, tribes and territories with improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across the country.
     This funding advances President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to rebuild the country’s aging water infrastructure, create local jobs, and ensure that all Americans have safe and clean water.
     “EPA is delivering on President Trump’s commitment to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and improve public health and environmental protections,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “EPA’s $2.6 billion contribution to the State Revolving Funds will enable more communities to make the investments needed to ensure Americans have safe water for drinking and recreation. These funds can also be combined with EPA’s WIFIA loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects nationwide.”
     The State Revolving Funds (SRFs) require state match, loan repayments, and interest that flows back to the funds. With more than 30 years of federal capitalization grants and state contributions, approximately $80 billion has been invested into these programs. According to the agency’s estimate of national drinking water and wastewater needs, in excess of $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements.
     Through loan repayments and investment earnings, the SRFs have leveraged these contributions to provide more than $170 billion in financial assistance to over 39,900 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,500 drinking water projects across the country.
     This year, EPA is making available more than $1 billion in new federal grant funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). This funding can be used for loans that help drinking water systems install controls to treat contaminants such as PFAS and improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines. In addition, more than $50 million in DWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to use for drinking water system upgrades.
     EPA is providing approximately $1.6 billion in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). This funding is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing stormwater.
     More than $64 million in CWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.
Background:
     Under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs, EPA provides funding to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize SRF loan programs.      The states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20 percent to match the federal grants.
     The 51 SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients for drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects. As the loan principal and interest are repaid over time, it allows the state’s DWSRF or CWSRF to be recycled or “revolve.” As money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients.
     In 2018, the SRFs committed $9.6 billion in drinking water and clean water infrastructure loans and refinancing and disbursed $8.8 billion for drinking water and clean water infrastructure.
     For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/drinkingwatersrf and https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf.



State News HardisonInk.com

New director of Florida Ag.
Water Policy announced

state water policy dept of ag HardisonInk.com
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nicole Fried announces her new Director of Agricultural Water Policy while at the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach. Fried and Christopher Pettit were joined at the press conference by Drew Bartlett, Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District; Dr. Paul Gray, Okeechobee Science Coordinator for Audubon Florida; Leslie Bertolotti, Water Resources Planner for The Nature Conservancy; and Marie Bedner, Operations Manager for Bedner’s Farm and Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market.

Story and Photo
By the FDACS Office of Communications
Published May 8, 2019 at 8:29 p.m.
     WEST PALM BEACH --
Today (Wednesday, May 8), Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried announced her appointment of Christopher Pettit as Director of Agricultural Water Policy for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
     Speaking outside the South Florida Water Management District, Fried highlighted Pettit’s background in water resources management in Florida and beyond. A livestream of the press conference may be viewed here.
     “Addressing our state’s water issues was one of my top priorities when running for this office, and today’s appointment is an important step towards achieving that goal,” said Commissioner Fried. “Cleaning up our water – and keeping it clean for generations to come – requires bringing everyone to the table to find real, comprehensive solutions to our water concerns. Chris’ deep experience with the management and conservation of Florida’s water resources make him a natural choice to lead our efforts on water policy. Our shared approach of finding common ground with our agricultural and environmental communities is part of my ongoing commitment to our state’s water future.”
     Pettit expressed his gratitude.
     “Thank you to Commissioner Fried for the opportunity to lead this office of paramount importance to the water and environmental resources of our great state,” Pettit said. “I enthusiastically share the Commissioner’s vision of finding common ground with agricultural and environmental communities in pursuit of healthy ecosystems and watersheds, as well as her respect for the role and efforts of the agricultural community and other stakeholders in achieving that vision.”
     Pettit previously had served in the Office of Counsel for both the South Florida Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and most recently served as the Policy and Legislation Manager for Palm Beach County Utilities, coordinating with state and federal regulatory agencies on water and environmental policy.
     Pettit also has served as a Law and Policy Fellow at the University of Florida Water Institute, a Law and Policy Fellow at the Mote Marine Laboratories Marine Policy Institute, and co-authored a U.S. Agency for International Development toolkit for climate resilient water utility operations being used internationally.
      “I’m really excited about Chris’ appointment, as he’s a very collaborative person to work with,” said Dr. Paul Gray of Audubon. “If you think about our state, most of it is owned by private landowners, and most of it is agriculture. If we’re going to fix our watershed problems, we’re going to have to work with agriculture — and I hope we’re really, genuinely, entering a new era where we work with these landowners and help them to be a part of our water solutions.”
      “The Bedner family has been farming in Palm Beach County for over 50 years, and we’ve been implementing best management practices since before the term existed,” said Marie Bedner of Bedner’s Farm. “We believe in being very good stewards of the land, and working to minimize the impact on the natural resources in South Florida. Farmers were some of the first environmentalists and we take that very seriously — we have to maintain good soil and good water so we can produce a healthy crop and take it to production.”


Improving Best Practices
     Fried announced that the Office will be reviewing agricultural best management practices (BMPs) to ensure the integration of the latest technologies and practices, undertaking technological and programmatic improvements aimed at increasing enrollment in BMPs, and undertaking additional on-farm BMP verifications to coordinate with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in its role as regulatory agency.

Increasing Cost Sharing
     She also announced she will seek additional cost sharing funding from the legislature to help farmers acquire the latest water-efficient, pollution-reducing technologies — Fried had sought $25 million in the 2019-20 budget, but only received $4 million, a decrease from $5 million in 2018-19. These cost sharing funds are dedicated to projects aimed at pollution reduction, water conservation, and water retention.
      “Our farmers can be some of the best stewards of our lands, and our agricultural areas are some of our best water recharge opportunities. That’s why I’m committed to helping our farmers use the latest technologies to reduce nutrient runoff and conserve water, by helping them afford and implement those technologies the right way,” said Commissioner Fried. “I look forward to collaborating with Governor DeSantis’ blue green algae and red tide task forces, and doing everything in our authority to protect the water on which our economy, our environment, and our lives depend.”
     The Office of Agricultural Water Policy works with agricultural producers, industry groups, state agencies, universities, and water management districts to develop and implement agricultural best management practices that address both water quality and water conservation. These best practices are practical, cost-effective actions to conserve water and reduce pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants entering our water systems.

 


CF announces
summer hours of operation

Published May 8, 2019 at 11:29 a.m.
     OCALA —
The College of Central Florida has implemented summer operating hours.
     The college is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and closed on Fridays through Aug. 2.
     Several CF departments have extended hours Monday through Thursday to better serve students through the summer.
     The Bryant Student Union, Student Affairs, Admissions, Academic Advising, Cashier, Financial Aid and Registrar, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
     Ocala Learning Resources Center, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
     Citrus Learning Resources Center, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
     Ocala Campus Bookstore, Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
     Citrus Campus Bookstore, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     CF Postal Services, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     CF Printing Services, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     The college will be closed for Memorial Day Monday, May 27, and Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.
     For more information, call the Ocala Campus at 352-873-5800, Citrus Campus at 352-746-6721, or Levy Campus at 352-658-4077.

 



    


April results reflect daily news
website's continued success;

'Keeping It Fine In Year Nine'

April 2019 Statistics for Traffic to HardisonInk.com

Story and Graphic
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 2, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
     THE WORLD –
HardisonInk.com, the daily news website that continues in its ninth year, showed an impressive monthly record of unique visitors, number of visits, pages viewed and hits in April.
     The daily news website continues showing traffic that is attractive to advertisers.
     Here is a review of website traffic during April of 2019 from data collected from two, independent, third-party robotic website traffic monitoring programs – Google Analytics and cPanel.
     The number of hits in April was about 1.5 million (1,482,302) hits. That is higher than the 2018 monthly average of 1.3 million hits.
     Upon learning of the latest figures, Jeff Hardison, publisher and sole proprietor of HardisonInk.com, said that first he is thankful to God for all things.
     Beyond that, he added, he is thankful for the continued reading and viewing of stories, photos and videos, which shows a strong base of people as the daily news website moves forward along into its ninth year of existence, which started on Feb. 1 of this year.
      The numbers for April of 2019 are shown in the graphic at the top of this story.

UNIQUE VISITORS
      The first gauge reflects Unique Visitors.
      Webopedia.com defines unique visitor as "a person who visits a website more than once within a specified period of time." Software used for this report can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors -- who return to the site.
      The unique visitor is different from a site's hits or page views -- which are measured by the number of files that are requested from a site. Unique visitors are measured according to their unique Internet Protocol addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site after they have visited it twice.
     “I continue looking forward to every second in 2019,” Hardison said. “HardisonInk.com is never breaking stride in its ninth year of existence. The theme this year is ‘Keeping It Fine In Year Nine.’”

UNIQUE VISITORS
    The April total of unique visitors 12,463.
     “I remember one month during the first year,” Hardison said, “when I thought 800 was a lot of unique visitors to be touching the website in a month. With the April monthly amount of computer addresses visiting the daily news, I am confident and proud to sell ads at the same rate that was good when there were only 800 a month. We have not increased the cost for our advertisers who sponsor the daily news website.”

NUMBER OF VISITS
     Another measure of traffic is the number of visits.
     In April, the number was 29,820 visits.

PAGES VIEWED
     Pages Viewed shows how many different pages the visitors looked at. This website has the Home Page, Police Page, Calendar Page, Business Page, Community Page, Life Page and the Leisure Page.
     The monthly total pages viewed in April was 107,773. There are ads on each page, and the readers see those ads.

HITS
     The April total of hits was about 1.5 million.
     What is a “hit?” When a viewer looks at a page, there are elements on the page that register a “hit.” For instance, if there are four pictures on a page, then that may equal four “hits.” Like all of the gauges, this is a measure of traffic.
     All of the measurements combined show the daily news website is continuing to progress and grow each year.
     “These figures mean there are a lot of people each day who use HardisonInk.com as a source for information,” Hardison said. “And they return daily. If your product or service is better than the competitors’ products and services, then you will have better odds of being the manufacturer, farmer or service provider of first choice in any market.”
      HardisonInk.com continues to provide readers, viewers and listeners (yes, the videos on HardisonInk.com have sound) with news and human interest stories, photos and videos. More and more business owners and other individuals are seeing that this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news.
     And people know there are no bounds for where coverage will go.
      This website is the best medium in this market to advertise, which is proved by the traffic numbers as well as the results seen by sponsors.
      HardisonInk.com has the Weather Bug on the Home Page for all current weather and forecasting needs, including radar and Weather Alerts. It has columns for quilt reports, Christian devotionals and more.
     HardisonInk.com provides state news on the BUSINESS PAGE and other pages on occasion when it is merited. And there have been national and international stories on other pages, including the HOME PAGE and POLICE PAGE.
     CHECK OUT THE ARCHIVES.
     The Florida native said his wife is a vital part of the reason for such a high success rate for the website.
      "I can't say enough about my wife Sharon Hardison," Jeff Hardison said. "She does so much for me, that it is incredible. Sharon is the graphic artist who does most of the ads. She is my bookkeeper who provides information to my accountant, too. One thing I need to bring people's attention to is our archive page. Go to any of the seven pages and find the ad for the archive page on the bottom right column and click on it.
     "A new window will open." he continued. "Just go to the month you want and scroll down. If you see a link that looks interesting, click on it. The newest addition is a direct link to all of the videos that have been published. CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS on YouTube.com. If you see any video you want to watch, click on it.”
     ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING.
     HardisonInk.com is visible for free to anyone who can see pages on the Internet. Therefore, people all over the world – and in the space station – can view it.
     This site is subscription-free entirely because of its sponsors. Not only do advertisers help the people in the world (and astronauts in the International Space Station) see Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, but those business interests enjoy the most exposure for the least dollars.
     "We don't put up winky-blinky ads or pop-ups in our local ads," Hardison said. "Our local ads don't move around by the minute. And I promote our local advertisers in other places in addition to HardisonInk.com."
     HardisonInk.com is the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties (and beyond). HardisonInk.com is the best place to spend dollars on advertising for any person selling anything to the people of the world, because people all over the world see it.

 

--UPDATED--
FRIDAY  MAY 24   6:49 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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