SCORE of Citrus County accepts
Levy County as a service area;

Williston Chamber mixer
offers networking opportunities

SCORE Citrus County
Jim Green, chapter chair of SCORE of Citrus County, stands below a banner that helps promote the organization.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 17, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
SCORE of Citrus County sponsored the Williston Chamber of Commerce mixer Thursday evening (Aug. 16) in conjunction with Dr. Kenneth Schwiebert and Heidi Schwiebert of Two Hawk Hammock.


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Williston Florida Chamber Mixer
Among the many members and guests at the event are (from left) Williston Chamber President Marc Pompeo of Harriett Downs Real Estate, Williston Chamber Vice President Kimberly McLane of Gamma Communications Solutions, Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson and Joel Maxson of Harriett Downs Real Estate. Standing in front of the group is Nicky, a 4-year-old male standard poodle. Nicky was raised by McLane since he was born. He is a very-accomplished dog with an impressive pedigree, and his official name is longer than just Nicky. He is also a service dog. There was a relatively large cat in the pole barn-stable during the event, and while the two animals looked at each other, both pets exhibited model behavior. There was not one bark or hiss to be heard. A good time was had by all.

Williston Florida Chamber Mixer
Hors d'oeuvres were plentiful during the Williston Chamber mixer. There was free beer available as well.

     Two Hawk Hammock is a retreat home rental property at 17950 N.E. 53rd Lane, Williston.
     The property includes an adjacent pasture for visitors who are traveling with a horse. It is pet-friendly with a fenced yard. The property is near to Devil's Den Spring for scuba divers and snorkelers, and it is within walking distance of Cedar Lakes Woods and (botanical) Gardens.
     As for the Chamber mixer, there were plenty of hors d'oeuvres, including shrimp, a couple of different kinds of meatballs, various breads and sauces. Cone Distributing of Ocala provided the beer via SCORE of Citrus County. Other available drinks at the mixer included tea and lemonade.
     Heidi Schwiebert’s homemade soaps were in a basket and open for the free taking by members and guests. The main gathering was in a huge outdoor pole barn-stable. Horses, a cat and several other types of animals were in or near the barn or stable.
     Members and guests all enjoyed an opportunity to share information with each other in regard to what their businesses provide.
     During Thomas L. Griffin’s speech about Bird Dog Boats, there was a donkey, mule, burro or some animal of that ilk that made some loud calls, as if it was music playing off an actor to leave the stage at the Oscars, because the actor’s time was up. Everyone enjoyed the humorous timing, because coincidently, that animal’s call wrapped up Griffin’s description of what his group does for people.
     Griffin is the director of the non-profit group – Bird Dog Boats – that is dedicated to the charitable cause of helping people with disabilities, so that they may enjoy outdoor water sports like boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming and the like.
     Griffin notes that he is appreciative of the following people who made this program possible: Capt. Bobby Witt of Scale Key Clam, in Cedar Key; Robert and Rick Coarsey of Coarsey Fiberglass, in Chiefland; Troy Wilson of Marine Metals, in Williston; and David Jones of the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, in Tallahassee.
     Among the free door prizes that were randomly selected for winners were two tickets to Two Tails Ranch - All About Elephants for its 7th Annual Elephant Appreciation Day & Fundraiser.
     This two-day event is scheduled for Sept. 22 and 23 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Gate admission is $10 per person. Children 2 years and younger are admitted for free. Two Tails Ranch is located at 18655 N.E. 81st St., Williston
     Patricia Zerbini, owner of Two Tails Ranch, said this educational facility teaches people about elephants. She let Chamber participants know the ranch draws thousands of people to Williston each year.
     In addition to Zerbina, who is the owner of All About Elephants as well as being a past president of the Williston Chamber of Commerce, other members at the mixer included representatives from Al's TV Antenna and Satellite; Capital City Bank; Citrus County SCORE; the City of Williston; Custom Sage; Devil's Den Spring; Gamma Communication Solutions;; Harriett Downs Real Estate; Regional General Hospital of Williston; Sharon C. Brannan, CPA; Williston Pioneer; and others.
     Jim Green, chapter chair of SCORE of Citrus County, shared information about this organization with the group.
     Katherine Regan and Chuck Kircoaf, two of the other six SCORE certified mentors at the event, also shared their insight about the group that, when it was founded in 1964, had the acronym SCORE – derived from Service Corps of Retired Executives.
     The latest motto or slogan for SCORE is “For the Life of Your Business – Your No Cost Business Partner.”
     The SCORE Association is supported by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is a federal government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
     SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the United States and its territories.
     SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners.
     SCORE of Citrus County has an office at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus in Lecanto and now has one at the CF Jack Wilkinson Campus in Levy County, just south of the city of Fanning Springs, Green said.
     Green said SCORE of Citrus County received a one-time grant to incorporate Levy County into its service area. Formerly SCORE of Gainesville was the service-provider for Levy County, Green said.
     Green said he hopes to recruit another three or four people in Levy County who will become certified mentors to help business interests in Levy County. The training takes 18 to 20 hours online, Green said.
     Once a SCORE mentor is certified, he or she can create a plan to donate hours to help business interests. Green said this is a very flexible volunteer position, where the mentor and the business owner work when they can schedule their activities together.
     For instance, Green said, a mentor may want to play golf in the morning and assist a client in the afternoon or evening.
     SCORE is connected with the SBA and it is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program as well.
     Katherine Regan, a SCORE mentor for four years now, said she helps encourage people who plan to start a business. She gives them guidance and helps them with their business plan. One woman, she said, had a vision to start a daycare venture.
     After looking at the plan and the market, however, that person chose against starting the enterprise. Regan said the woman was very thankful to her for helping her understand business concepts showing how this venture probably would have resulted in an outcome other than the one she desired.
     Chuck Kircoaf, an eight-year veteran SCORE mentor who specializes in restaurants, said he meets with clients to help them with their business plans. This includes reviewing the finances and legal obstacles in business.
     Inventory control and flow are among the aspects of a business plan that can be reviewed.
     For an existing business, Kircoaf said, he can help them consider obtaining a bridge loan. This is short-term financing that the SBA can assist a business in locating. Kircoaf said there are some attractive packages for relatively low interest rates.
     Therefore, if a business owner saw reasons to want to increase his or her inventory and they needed a loan to go forward with this expansion, a certified SCORE mentor could help counsel that owner to lead the person toward the best resources to obtain that loan.
     SCORE is aiming toward assisting rural and agricultural business owners, too, Kircoaf said
     For instance, the USDA, Kircoaf said, is providing $12 billion to American farmers and ranchers affected nationwide by trade wars and tariffs that recently came into existence. SCORE and the SBA can help agricultural interests interested in learning more about these options, Kircoaf said.
     Beyond this assistance, SCORE mentors can help farmers and ranchers with other aspects of their business plans.
     Anyone interested in becoming a SCORE mentor in Levy County is asked to contact Jim Green at or, or call him at the office at 352-249-1236 or on his cell phone at 352-464-7971.
     As for the Williston Chamber of Commerce mixer, people appeared to enjoy the food and fellowship as they socially networked with other Chamber members and guests.
     The 2018 officers of the Williston Chamber of Commerce are President Marc Pompeo, Vice President Kimberly McLane, Secretary Lon Sullivan and Treasurer Paul Jones.

Edward Jones
Time To Put
Excess Cash To Work?

Published Aug. 14, 2018 at 9:18 a.m.
     You’ll always want to base your investment decisions on your own needs and goals.
     But there may be times when you might consider adjusting your portfolio because of risks and opportunities. Now may be one of those times.
     Here’s some background: In recent months, the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates several times, and given its generally favorable outlook on the economy, it has indicated it may continue bumping up interest rates gradually over the next year or so. The Fed doesn’t control long-term interest rates, but these rates often follow the lead of short-term movements. However, longer-term rates haven’t yet risen as much as shorter-term ones, which means the difference between short- and long-term rates is relatively small, historically speaking.
     This doesn’t mean you should make drastic changes to your portfolio. You still need to stick with the asset allocation that’s suitable for your situation, which typically involves owning a certain percentage of growth-oriented vehicles, such as stocks, and a certain percentage of fixed-income securities, such as bonds. However, if you do have space in the fixed-income part of your portfolio, you may find the higher interest rates offered by short-term bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) to be attractive.
     To take advantage of this opportunity, though, you will need to have the cash available to invest.
     Some people hold too much in cash, waiting for interest rates to rise, or as protection against the risk of a market decline.
     But holding excess cash involves its own risk – the risk of not investing. So, if you have your cash needs covered, you may want to consider investing any excess cash.
     To determine if you are holding excess cash, you’ll need to review your entire cash situation. For example, do you have enough cash, or cash equivalents, to create an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of living expenses? This fund can be vital in helping you pay for things like a major car repair or an unexpected medical bill without dipping in to your long-term investments. And, of course, you need enough liquidity to provide for your lifestyle, including your regular spending needs – your mortgage, utilities, groceries and so on. Also, you may want to set aside enough cash for a goal you want to reach in the next year or so, such as a vacation.
     But if you have taken care of all these needs and you still have excess cash, you may want to consider putting this cash to work, possibly by investing in short-term fixed-income vehicles now being issued at higher interest rates.
     And keep in mind that regardless of where interest rates are going, bonds and other fixed-income investments can offer 1some key benefits to investors. In addition to providing a source of regular income, these types of investments can help reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio.
     While bonds can, and will, fluctuate in value, they typically can provide more stability to your portfolio and tend to behave differently than stocks over time.
     After years of historical lows, shorter term rates now have risen to levels that are more attractive to investors. Take the time to review your situation, perhaps with the help of a financial professional, to deter-mine if taking advantage of these rates may be appropriate for you.
     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.

Trimm Auction Services
takes bidding
to an international level

people in 10 countries and 50 states
bid on 700 lots of antiques
at the same time as people in Trenton bid

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
J.R. Trimm is joined by his father John Trimm and his grandfather Milton Barber to cut the ribbon. This photo shows the exact moment the ribbon was cut. The video below shows most of the speech before the singing of the National Anthem and the ribbon cutting.


Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 11, 2018 at 6:38 p.m.
All Copyrights Protected
     TRENTON --
J.R. Trimm, auctioneer and owner of Trimm Auction Services of Trenton, held an excellent ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday (Aug. 11).


In this video, J.R. Trimm thanks the Lord for the blessings he has enjoyed as he conducts a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his business Trimm Auction Services LLC. After his introduction, Sarah Trimm Boles (his sister) sings the Star Spangled Banner and then J.R. Trimm is joined by his father John Trimm and his grandfather Milton Barber to cut the ribbon.

J.R. Trimm, 22, is seen (at right) climbing the hill with the American flag and a flag-stand he placed as part of the ribbon-cutting scene at the Trenton location of Trimm Auction Services LLC.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
April Trimm is seen with her 22-year-old son J.R. Trimm on Saturday as they stand next to a Wurlitzer jukebox.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
This is the Down South Cook’n & BBQ trailer that provided 200 meals as a gift for bidding patrons from Trimm Auction Services LLC.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
Kellie Hart  (left) and her husband Dewayne Hart own Down South Cook’n & BBQ. They travel to provide delicious food and drinks. Among the places they frequent is a mud-bogging venture in Suwannee County.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
Bidders look at the items available to purchase at the auction.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services

J.R. Trimm Auction Services

J.R. Trimm Auction Services

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
This McCormick Farmall Cub tractor was the anchor for one of the two sides of the ribbon cut on Saturday.

J.R. Trimm Auction Services
This 1950-1960 Bowzer fuel pump served as an anchor for the grand opening ribbon to be tied to.

     That ceremony was followed by an online international auction.
     Also as part of the event, he provided 200 barbecue dinners for patrons of the auction company located on the south side of State Road 26 on the east side of Trenton.
     Trimm Auction Services LLC provided a worldwide auction of 700 lots of antiques. The antiques were valued in the range of $100,000.
     This is the biggest antique auction to be put on between Orland0 and Jacksonville in the past five to 10 years, Trimm said. There were 17 people working as employees or independent contractors with the auctioneer that day at the site.
     Bidders could raise their numbered cards as the auctioneer went through the lots, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, as they sat in one of the 200 seats at the air-conditioned auction house.
     Meanwhile another 110 bidders who had pre-registered to participate made their bids via the Internet. There were bidders from at least 10 countries.
     These bidders include people from France, Brazil, Italy, Canada, England and five other countries. There are also bidders from all 50 states in America, he told, participating in the bids on Saturday (Aug. 11).
     “What we’re going to do here today,” Trimm said, “this area has never seen before. This is bringing auctions to the next level – not just today. We are bringing auctions to the next level for good.”
     His auction service was rated as #1 in Florida out of 7,000 auction services in Florida for seven consecutive days, Trimm said as he prepared to cut the ribbon at the grand opening.
     Among the many people and groups Trimm thanked, he mentioned that he was especially grateful to the city of Trenton and to Drummond Community Bank.
     His goal in the next five years is for Trimm Auction Services to become one of the biggest auction companies of fine antiques and liquidation merchandise in not just North Central Florida, but from Orlando to Jacksonville as well.
     “We are going to sell every bit of it today,” he said.
     Sarah (Trimm) Boles sang the Star-Spangled Banner and then J.R. Trimm was joined by his father John Trimm and his grandfather Milton Barber to cut the ribbon. People enjoyed the 200 free barbecue meals and then the bidding began at 2 p.m. (United States Eastern Time).
     Trimm said he plans to hold these big auctions about twice a month on Saturdays.

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild
set to bless 7th home,
begin construction on 8th

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published Aug. 9, 2018 at 11:28 p.m.
     OCALA –
The Phoenix Rising YouthBuild program will continue to build on its success later this month by blessing a recently completed home one day and raising the walls on another the next.
     The blessing for the home built this past spring by members of Marion County’s seventh YouthBuild class takes place Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 9 a.m. at 8075 Juniper Road in Silver Springs Shores.
     The wall raising for the eighth YouthBuild is set for Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at 1023 N.W. 14th Ave., in Ocala.
     Phoenix Rising has been raising the hopes and expectations of at-risk young adults since 2011. The alternative-education program is designed to help revitalize economically challenged areas in Marion County while making a positive difference in the lives of young adults, age 18-24.
     Through the program, students receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment or a post-secondary education program. A key component of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families in Marion and Citrus counties. Additionally, participants may earn their high school diploma as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.
     CareerSource CLM and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, recruit program participants, assign career coaches to help coordinate and oversee the program and provide classroom employability training. 
     Brian Conard, Eckerd’s area youth services program manager, said that all 13 graduates of the spring YouthBuild earned their Penn Foster High School diplomas, and the first members of the new class earned their diplomas through the program on August 3 and August 6.
     “These YouthBuild students not only raise walls and build skills, they raise the spirits of anyone who comes in contact with them,” Conard said. “By the time they graduate from the program, they’ve also built confidence in their abilities and their future.”
Conard invited those interested in the program to attend the events – whether a prospective student, program partner or simply those who want to wish them well. 
     In addition to CareerSource CLM, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development and Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, primary partners include Marion County Board of County Commissioners, City of Ocala, College of Central Florida (Hampton Center), Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) and Equal Housing Opportunity, and Silver River Mentoring & Instruction (SRMI).
     Major funding for the Marion County YouthBuilds comes from an $806,000 grant from the US Department of Labor obtained by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion. The grant covers four Phoenix Rising YouthBuild projects for 48 students.
     Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public/private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities and Harvard's School of Business. The program also received Habitat for Humanity International's highest honor, the Clarence E. Jordan Award, for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.
     For more information, call 352-291-9550, ext. 2293.


Daily news website
shows continued high traffic

Robbie Cooper
Robbie Cooper, owner of Bronson Lube and a charter advertiser with, grants a request for a photo opportunity on Friday (Aug. 3). Bronson Lube is the place where the fleet of land vehicles are maintained. The unmanned aerial system (the drone nicknamed Dragonfly) is maintained at an undisclosed location. Website owner Jeff M. Hardison asked Cooper to pose next to the PT Newser (a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser) because the vehicle has four new tires on it, installed by Bronson Lube workers. And this brand of tires is Cooper tires. ‘Robbie Cooper is a great businessman, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and an avid racecar driver. He’s not of the Cooper tire group, but he introduced me to those tires for the other PT Cruiser that Sharon and I own. I like those tires on both vehicles. Robbie’s not very much for the limelight, but I talked him into letting me take this picture. If a person wants to know where I recommend taking their vehicles for maintenance or repair, I say to take those vehicles to Bronson Lube,’ Hardison said.

Cooper Tire Photo
This view of one of the eight Cooper tires on two of the land fleet vehicles of is seen here. This tire is one of the four newest tires.

Story, Photos and Graphic
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 5, 2018 at 9:08 a.m.
     THE WORLD --
The number of people looking at stories, photos, and advertising, and looking at and listening to videos on continues to show high traffic for the website that is now in its eighth year, according to two independent automated traffic-registering programs -- Google Analytics and cPanel.
     There were 14,792 unique visitors in July to, according to these trusted third-party automated measuring devices.
     Jeff Hardison, publisher and owner of, said that first he is thankful to God for all things.
     Beyond that, he added, he is thankful for the readers, listeners and viewers who visit the site. This strong base of people across the state, across the nation and across the globe help daily news website keep moving forward in its eighth year of existence, which started on Feb. 1, 2018.
     Not only is this the best source for daily news, he said, but this is also the best platform for advertising because of the traffic to the site.
     “Private and public interests recognize advertising in is the best return on investment for money spent on advertising,” Hardison said.
     The numbers for July 2018 are shown in the graphic below:

Stats for July of 2018

     Hardison, a multiple award-winning daily and weekly newspaper writer and editor, and now an established publisher and daily news outlet owner, said he is pleased to see individuals visiting the site.
     The national advertisements will remain on the bottom of the pages, he said, because local advertisers are better served by being on the right side of the pages and in the body of the pages. The ads for four local Chambers of Commerce currently are at the bottom of the Community Page.
     "I am potentially going to add the Williston Chamber of Commerce again," Hardison said. "I have provided the board of that Chamber with a proposal. The Chiefland Chamber is currently without a person in its office very much, but if those folks want to reach out, that's great from my perspective."
     Following are the figures from two independent robotic programs for July of 2018.
     The first gauge reflects Unique Visitors. defines unique visitor as "a person who visits a Web site 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.

July 2018 – 14,792

     The number of visits is as it says. This is the number of times that these visitors came to pages.
July 2018 – 30,151

     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.
July 2018 – 109,092

     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.
July 2018 – 1,301,124 (a million-plus hits)

     “These figures mean there are more people each day who use 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.” continues to grow in readers, viewers and listeners (yes, the videos have sound). More and more business owners and other individuals are seeing that this is the best site for Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties’ daily news.
     This website is the best medium in this market to advertise, which is proved by annual increased revenue even though the price of ads remains stable since the site’s inception. 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. provides state news on the BUSINESS PAGE and other pages on occasion when it is merited.

     The monthly averages for the 12 months of 2017 in the four categories are shown below:

Unique Visitors 15,552
Number of Visits 36,179
Pages 120,336
Hits 1.2 million

     "I can't say enough about my wife Sharon Hardison," Jeff Hardison said. "She does so much for me it is incredible. One thing I need to bring people's attention to is our relatively new archive page. Go to any of the seven pages and find the ad for the archive page 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. Just go to the area on the page that says CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS
     Videos can be viewed ( and click on it. If you see any video you want to watch, click on it.
ADVERTISEMENT KEEPS IT GOING 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 our sponsors. Not only do advertisers help the people in the world (and astronauts) 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" is the best daily news site that covers Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.
     Advertisements run in various sizes and can be on one page or all seven pages. Ad contracts run for one year. Ads can be changed monthly. Ads can be hyperlinked to other webpages so that when a person clicks on the ad it opens in another window.
     The annual prices for ads are $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 and there is one $2,000-a-year ad space available on the Home Page.
     Call 352-493-9950 or send an email to to learn more about advertising on the MOST VIEWED daily news website in the world for any form of print, broadcast or Internet-based media covering the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties (and beyond).

Medical professionals
are needed -- stat

By Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Published Aug. 1, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.
     OCALA –
Healthcare professionals as well as individuals interested in careers in the medical field are invited to attend the 2018 Medical Career Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at One Health Center, 1714 S.W. 17th St., in Ocala.
     The free event is sponsored by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion in partnership with One Health Center, an urgent care “all-in-one” facility. Healthcare businesses will be recruiting to fill in-demand positions, including: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Medical Office Assistants, Personal Care Aides, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Sitter/Companions.
     “We are very excited to partner with One Health Center to bring this exclusive opportunity to businesses and medical professionals in our community,” said Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource CLM’s business development officer.
     To date, the following businesses plan to attend: Genesis Healthcare – Oakhurst Center, Family Life Care, Home Instead Senior Care, Marion Oaks Assisted Living, Ocala Community Care, Ocala Health and Rehabilitation, One Health Center, ResCare Homecare, Safer at Home, The Vines Hospital, TimberRidge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, VIPcare Healthcare and Visiting Angels. For updates on participating businesses, check the Calendar of Events or Career Fairs and Hiring Events page at
     In addition to these interests, representatives from the College of Central Florida, Rasmussen College and Saint Leo University will provide details about postsecondary healthcare programs and CareerSource CLM staff will also be on hand with information about fee-free job-placement and career development services.
     While advance registration is not required, candidates interested in fast, easy access to the event are encouraged to register at Candidates should also bring copies of their resume, dress professionally and be prepared for on-the-spot job interviews.
     “Candidates interested in updating their resume, getting help preparing a 30-second ‘elevator speech’ or sharpening interview skills are encouraged to visit one of our three career centers for free assistance,” Chrisman said. The centers are located at 2703 N.E. 14th St., Ocala; 683 S. Adolph Point, Lecanto; and 2175 N.W. 11th Drive, (southern protion of the Walmart Shopping Area) in Chiefland.
     Chrisman added that limited space is still available for healthcare businesses interested in taking advantage of the “targeted, effective and efficient way to engage with qualified candidates.” There is no charge to participate, interview space is available upon request and logistics and staff support are also provided.
     Businesses or candidates interested in learning more should call 800-434-5627, ext. 1713.

Duke Energy Florida announces
new solar power plant
in Columbia County

Separately, construction underway on
previously announced 74.9-megawatt
solar plant in Hamilton County

Together, the two solar plants
will eliminate 645 million pounds
of carbon dioxide emissions per year

By Duke Energy Communications
Published Aug. 1, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.
Duke Energy Florida on Tuesday (July 31) announced the location of its newest universal solar power plant, which will provide cleaner, smarter energy solutions to benefit its Florida customers.
     The Columbia Solar Power Plant will be built on 580 acres in Fort White (Columbia County) Fla., off of Fry Road.
     The 74.9-megawatt (MW) plant will consist of approximately 245,000 solar panels on the site, which will produce enough carbon-free energy to power over 20,000 average homes at peak production.
     The company expects to break ground on the Columbia solar plant next year, with full operation in March 2020. The solar power plant will be owned, operated and maintained by Duke Energy Florida and developed by Core Solar, which has constructed other solar projects in Florida.
      Separately, construction is underway at Duke Energy’s previously announced Hamilton Solar Power Plant, which is also 74.9 MW in size, consisting of approximately 300,000 solar panels on 565 acres.
      "Together, the Hamilton and Columbia solar power plants are expected to eliminate approximately 645 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida each year upon commercial operation. That’s the equivalent of taking 63,000 passenger cars off the road," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. "These projects represent our commitment to more fuel diversity in the state and to rapidly expand renewable generation for our Florida customers’ benefit."
      Hamilton and Columbia are the first projects the company has announced as part of Duke Energy Florida’s commitment to construct or acquire 700 MW of solar generation between now and 2022.
      "We applaud Duke Energy Florida for proactively working with stakeholders to embrace smart, 21st-century technologies that are good for consumers and the environment," said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Pursuit of large-scale solar, electric vehicles and battery storage are positive steps for our energy grid and the Sunshine State. We welcome Duke Energy’s willingness to work with stakeholders on data collection and any rate design changes impacting customer-owned demand side solar.”
     Over the next decade, the company will also make strategic, targeted investments in additional solar power plants, battery storage technology, transportation electrification and a modernized power grid to help meet our customers’ needs for diverse, reliable energy solutions.

Hamilton Solar Power Plant
Construction Begins

     Duke Energy Florida broke ground on the Hamilton Solar Power Plant in Jasper, in early July. 
     It is located along Southwest 69th Drive and Southwest 40th Avenue in Jasper. Once operational, the facility will be 74.9 megawatts in size, which is enough to power more than 20,000 homes at peak production.
     All of the electricity created from the project will be fed onto Duke Energy Florida’s electric grid for the benefit of all of its 1.8 million customers. The project is expected to be finished later this year and was originally developed by Tradewind Energy Inc.
     Large-scale solar sites efficiently deploy solar technology for the benefit of all customers. It offers a way for customers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy and provides Duke Energy with a clean, diverse fuel source.

Renewables Service Center
     In addition to building universal solar in the Sunshine State, Duke Energy Florida is helping more than 350 residential and business customers per month interconnect their own private solar on their property.
     The company established a renewables service center to make it easier for customers to interconnect. In the past five years, the number of customers who have interconnected their private solar increased by 670 percent.

Florida PSC Filing
     Duke Energy Florida filed a request on Tuesday (July 31) with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover the actual investment costs associated with the Hamilton and Columbia solar power plants.
     The impact to residential customers’ rates is expected to be less than one-half of 1 percent for each project. Commercial and industrial customers would see a similar change. 
     For the Hamilton Solar Power Plant, the forecasted base rate increase would begin in the January 2019 billing period.
     For the Columbia Solar Power Plant, the forecasted base rate increase would begin in the April 2020 billing period.



Duke Energy open house
provides answers about future
substation & transmission lines

Duke Energy
Duke Energy Senior Project Manager Mark Levesque and Duke Energy Senior Communications Consultant Ana Gibbs
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 26, 2018 at 10:08 a.m.
Scores of people attended the Duke Energy Open House event at Holy Family Catholic Church, 17353 N.E. U.S. Alt. 27, near Williston on Tuesday (July 24).

Duke Energy
Duke Energy customers participate in the open house on Tuesday evening at the Catholic Church near Williston.

     The three-hour event from 4 to 7 p.m. that evening included two dozen Duke Energy employees showing every aspect of the company’s plan, including addressing environmental concerns.
     The company sought input from residents who feel they may be adversely impacted by the new substation or transmission lines in Williston and going into Bronson.
     Duke Energy Senior Communications Consultant Ana Gibbs and Duke Energy Senior Project Manager Mark Levesque answered questions posed by
     As part of Duke Energy’s commitment to ensure a secure energy grid for Florida, the company has determined there is a need to construct a new substation and a new 230-kilovolt transmission line in the northeastern part of Levy County, Gibbs noted.
     This project will strengthen system reliability by adding needed capacity to support the growing demand for energy used by homes and businesses in the area, she added.
     The proposed location of the new substation is adjacent to the existing Williston 69-kV Substation located at 4991 N.E. U.S. Highway 41 in the city of Williston, which will be upgraded.
     The new 230-kV transmission line will extend approximately 14 miles west from that new substation to the existing Bronson substation located at 890 N. Hathaway Ave. (U.S. Alt. 27) in the town of Bronson.
     Senior Project Manager Levesque said this project has begun and this input part of the venture helps people who endorse safe and reliable electric service, but who also might say they do not want a transmission line in their backyard.
     The project currently shows a date of groundbreaking in early 2021, Levesque said. If all goes as planned, the project will be completed within one year of its groundbreaking, Levesque said.
     During that year of work, the senior project manager added, Duke Energy intends to have zero outages as a result of work being done on the substation and transmission line.
     Levesque said there is enough power being generated to serve Duke Energy customers. The company is focusing on improving and expanding the infrastructure to deliver that electricity to
residential and commercial users.
     The new line will support Duke Energy customers as well as the customers of other utilities, such as Central Florida Electric Cooperative, who are in the region, Gibbs said.
     Gibbs said the company has policies to serve people as good stewards. For instance, it uses vegetation to mitigate concerns that a substation may seem unsightly to some. And the company provides fair compensation when property needs to be acquired for transmission lines.
     Project information, including an interactive map is available online at
     Comments can be submitted online or at the email address A 30-day comment period will begin following the open houses. The comments will be used as part of the evaluation of the potential corridors to select a final preferred route, which will be announced this fall.
     The comment period ends after Aug. 23.
     If residents have additional questions, please contact Duke Energy at the toll-free number 877-840-0101.


Duke Energy selects five Florida
locations for Site Readiness;

Five properties in Levy, Marion,
Hamilton, Wakulla and Volusia counties
to participate in the company's
economic development initiative

Published July 20, 2018 at 1:58 p.m.
Duke Energy has selected five Florida properties for participation in this year's Site Readiness Program, which will prepare them for targeted business development and future capital investment.
     Through its Site Readiness Program, Duke Energy identifies high-quality industrial sites and works with the site's owner, county/city officials and local economic development professionals to identify the property's current status and to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity, necessary for the development of the properties.
     "Site readiness supports communities' needs by evaluating properties and providing recommendations and a vision that are used to attract companies and jobs to the area," said Marc Hoenstine, director of economic development, Duke Energy. "This process of identifying competitive sites that are prime for development, coupled with strong workforce programs and available talent, has resulted in several successful projects throughout our six-state service area over the last 13 years."
     The locations include:

Levy County
     The Levy site consists of 5,400 acres located in close proximity to navigable water with transmission-level power nearby and is within five miles of a railway. The site and neighboring area has key attributes to support timber production/processing, food processing and general manufacturing industries.
     "Knowing a location's full potential for development is critical for site selection, ensuring essential infrastructure and features are in place for sought-after industry," said David Pieklik, executive director for Nature Coast Business Development Council of Levy County. "Taking a hard look at a 5,400-acre site north of Inglis – an area poised for growth – Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program will help us ensure we have everything we need for a perfect fit."

Marion County
     Acorn Farms is a 190-acre site located east of Interstate 75 with convenient access to the Florida Northern Railroad. Five key industry targets for this site include logistics and distribution, light manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing and aviation and aerospace production.
     "The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program will help our community identify and further advance the development of the Acorn Farms property," said Brett Barnes, vice president of job creation for the Greater Ocala Chamber and Economic Partnership. "With extensive feedback from Global Location Strategies (GLS), an internationally recognized site selection firm, and the knowledge gained, we will be in a better position to continue to develop the site for future growth. We greatly appreciate this incredible opportunity Duke Energy presented to us. We look forward to working with them and the entire GLS team."

Hamilton County
     The Carter Property is a 468-acre site that is adjacent to Interstate 75, just south of the Florida/Georgia border. Four potential targeted industries for this site include logistics/distribution, food and beverage, wood/timber products (pellet mills) and general manufacturing.
     "Hamilton County is well-positioned on the Florida/Georgia line to offer businesses a strategic location where they can easily reach the Southeast market," said Susan Ramsey, executive director of the Hamilton County Development Authority. "Duke Energy's selection of the Carter Property for the Site Readiness Program will result in yet another competitive Hamilton County site for businesses to consider."
After each evaluation is completed, materials  highlighting the property's attributes are  used to help strategically market the sites nationwide for companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Wakulla County
     Opportunity Park is a 240-acre industrial park located in Crawfordville, 14 miles south of the Tallahassee International Airport and 18 miles from Interstate 10. The park has three-phase electric service, abundant natural gas, water, sewer, business internet and communications available on site. Targeted industries include general manufacturing, offices and green, environmentally responsible businesses.
     "It has been a pleasure for the Wakulla County Economic Development Council to assist in bringing Duke Energy and NG Wade, a Jacksonville-based investment firm and the site's owner, together for the evaluation of Opportunity Park, a project that is vital to Wakulla's economic development," said John Shuff, chairman of the Wakulla County Economic Development Council. "We are grateful to Duke Energy for having the vision to understand the importance of this industrial park for Florida's Capital Region!"

Volusia County
     DeBary Industrial Park is a 255-acre site that is adjacent to a CSX rail line and is five miles west of Interstate 4. The site will be evaluated to support light manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, IT/communications, biomedical/biotechnology and food and beverage manufacturing.
     "We're very excited about the opportunity to work with Duke Energy through its site readiness initiative, highlighting an approximate 250-acre industrial zoned site with CSX access located between Orlando and Daytona," said Roger VanAuker, economic development director for the city of DeBary. "We appreciate Duke Energy's partnership in economic development, taking a proactive role in the economic prosperity of DeBary and regionally."

     Duke Energy is working with two nationally recognized site selection consulting firms to evaluate the properties. O'Neal Consulting, a consulting firm in Greenville, S.C., which recently acquired the assets of McCallum Sweeney, has been instrumental in locating many high-profile headquarters and industrial relocations and expansions throughout Florida and the U.S.
     And most recently, Global Location Strategies, based in Greenville, S.C, is a new partner to Florida's Site Readiness Program working with manufacturing and industrial companies assisting with capital, labor, energy and water intensive project requirements. Heidt Design, a Tampa-based engineering firm will continue to support the program with buildable area studies and conceptual drawings for each site evaluation.
     Duke Energy's Site Readiness Program was recognized by Southern Business and Development magazine as one of the "South's Top 10 Site Programs" and was noted as one of the main reasons Duke Energy was named as one of the nation's "Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs" by Site Selection magazine for the past several years.
     Duke Energy's economic development efforts have helped attract and grow more than 270 companies in Florida since 2001, resulting in more than 40,600 new jobs and $3.5 billion in capital investment in the communities it serves. The Site Readiness Program has resulted in 34 major project wins on sites across the Duke Energy footprint.
     These projects will create over 6,800 new jobs and invest more than $7 billion in capital.

SATURDAY  AUG. 18  10:48 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

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