Estate Plans Can Help You
Answer Questions
About The Future

Published July 15, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.
     NEWBERRY --
The word “estate” conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don’t develop estate plans – after all, they’re not rich, so why make the effort?

 

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     In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.
     Here are a few of these questions:
     • What will happen to my children? With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don’t want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a “guardian of the estate” – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.
     • Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you’ve named.
     • Who will oversee my finances and my living situation if I become incapacitated? You can build various forms of protection into your estate planning, such as a durable power of attorney, which allows you to designate someone to manage your financial affairs if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. You could also create a medical power of attorney, which allows someone to handle health care decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
     • Will I shortchange my family if I leave significant assets to charities? Unless you have unlimited resources, you’ll have to make some choices about charitable gifts and money for your family. But as part of your estate plans, you do have some appealing options. For example, you could establish a charitable lead trust, which provides financial support to your chosen charities for a period of time, with the remaining assets eventually going to your family members. A charitable remainder trust, by contrast, can provide a stream of income for your family members for the term of the trust, before the remaining assets are transferred to one or more charitable organizations.
     As you can see, careful estate planning can help you answer many of the questions that may be worrying you. Be aware, though, that certain aspects of estate planning, especially those related to living trusts and charitable trusts, can be complex, so you should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor about your situation. But once you’ve got your plans in place, you should be able to face the future with greater clarity and confidence. 
   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. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice.


Dixie County Career and
Resource Fair set for July 16

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 6, 2019 at 7:39 a.m.
     OLD TOWN --
The Florida Department of Corrections has joined forces with CareerSource Florida Crown to present the Dixie County Career and Resource Fair scheduled to be on Tuesday, July 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     CareerSource Florida Crown is the state agency that links employers and job seekers in Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist and Union counties.
     CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is the state agency that links employers and job seekers in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties.
     CareerSource Florida is the statewide workforce policy and investment board. Its partners include the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 24 local workforce development boards and 100 career centers throughout Florida. Together, these agencies help connect businesses with the talented workforce and training needed to succeed and grow.
     Melissa Capps, employment specialist with the Third Judicial Circuit's Probation and Parole Division of the Florida Department of Corrections reached out to employers late Tuesday afternoon (July 2) with an email inviting all of them to know about what promises to be an annual event.
     The Inaugural Dixie County Career and Resource Fair is set for those three hours on July 16 to be at the First District Community Center, 9223 State Road 349, in Old Town, Capps said.
     "Letting the 16,486 people in Dixie county know you’re hiring is hard," she noted on July 2. "The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) and CareerSource Florida Crown can help."
     These two state agencies are striving to connect as many workers with as many jobs as possible, with that place and time being the focal point for success by employers and employees.
      "We know that your business has amazing employment opportunities that need to be shared with the people of Dixie County," Capps told business owners. "We want to give you that opportunity!"
     Employers were asked to complete a registration form and return it to Capps by July 10. More instructions included a final request for employers to arrive at the event on July 16 to set up a table, and then "Enjoy the event!"
     This fair is not exclusive to people with criminal backgrounds or only the employers willing to help those individuals seek to become members of society who stay within the bounds of law.
     "While the Florida Department of Corrections is always working to make partners with those companies that can hire individuals with criminal backgrounds," Capps noted, "we understand that some employers are unable to do so. This event is a whole community event, where anyone can come and see what resources and employment opportunities are available in our area." 
     With those instructions for employers, Capps asked everyone to share information with people who want jobs.
     
Job seekers should:
     • Bring a valid photo ID;
     • Know that employers will be on site for interviews;
     • Bring copies of your current résumé; and
     • Be "Dressed for Success."
     Job seekers are strongly encouraged to register with employflorida.com prior to the event.
     For employers or job seekers who want additional information, contact CareerSource Florida Crown at 386-755-9026 or Department of Corrections Employment Specialist Melissa Capps at 386-688-0865.
     Special resources for individuals who have received services from the Florida Department of Corrections and Community Corrections will be available. For additional information, please contact Florida Department of Correction’s Employment Specialist Melissa Capps at melissa.capps@fdc.myflorida.com.
     For additional information, please contact Florida Department of Correction’s Employment Specialist Melissa Capps at melissa.capps@fdc.myflorida.com.

 


Financial assistance available
for private landowners
to combat
destructive southern pine beetle
Levy County

Published July 10, 2019 at 1:29
     GAINESVILLE –
On Monday (July 8), the Florida Forest Service announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program.
     Applications will be accepted through Aug. 16.
     “The southern pine beetle is one of the most economically devastating forest pests of the southeast,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. “Our desire is to help landowners take preventative action now, significantly reducing the risks and impacts associated with the southern pine beetle and improving the health and productivity of their pine forests.”
     The last major southern pine beetle outbreaks occurred between 1999 and 2002, resulting in an estimated $59 million in timber losses. Since its inception in 2005, the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program has helped approximately 2,500 landowners on more than 187,000 acres.
     The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, supported through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, is available to non-industrial private forest landowners in 44 Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle. The program provides incentive payments to landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning. The program also offers partial cost reimbursement for activities such as prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments, and the planting of longleaf or slash pine, which are less susceptible to southern pine beetle infestations.
     Eligible landowners can apply for up to two practices per year. Funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval.
     To obtain an application or to learn more about the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, click HERE.
     The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.

 


Phoenix Rising YouthBuild
now recruiting
candidates for next project

By Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
Published July 4, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
     OCALA –
Recruiting is under way for deserving young adults interested in taking part in Marion County’s 10th Phoenix Rising YouthBuild.
     The award-winning program helps revitalize economically-challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of 18- to 24-year-old individuals willing to work, in need of a high school diploma and interested in employment and/or postsecondary education or training.
     An overview of the program takes place Thursday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to noon and Friday, July 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion career center, 2703 NE 14th St., in Ocala. Because space is limited, those interested in attending must schedule a session in advance by calling 352-291-9550 extensions 1215 or 2293.
     Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment. A key feature of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families. Additionally, students may earn their high school diploma as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.
     Program timeline:
     · Prospective students will “try out” for enrollment in the program by participating in mental toughness and team-building exercises, July 16-23
     · Students will be selected, July 23-24
     · The program starts with OSHA training on July 30
     · Wall raising tentatively set for August 22 at 350 Emerald Road in Silver Springs Shores

     Phoenix Rising was spearheaded in 2011 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams in collaboration with CareerSource CLM and its youth services provider, Habitat for Humanity of Marion County and other community partners.
     To date, a total of 227 have graduated from Phoenix Rising programs in Marion and Citrus counties. Students built 43 homes, have earned 795 industry certifications including forklift and warehouse certifications, OSHA certification, Florida Safe Staff Food Handling, Home Builders Institute PACT Carpentry certification and the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales credential. Since it began, 102 have earned high school diplomas, with more in the pipeline, and 199 gained employment and/or enrolled in a postsecondary program.
     Major funding for the program comes from a grant obtained by CareerSource CLM from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Current year federal funding for Youth Build is $466,821.
     In addition to Habitat and Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, CareerSource CLM’s youth services provider, primary partners are the City of Ocala, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, 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).
     Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public and private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities and Harvard's School of Business. Phoenix Rising 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.

 


Fanning Springs youth pastor
becomes co-pastor in Bell

Published July 2, 2019 at 12:29 p.m.
     BELL --
Alan Harmon has faithfully served as the Youth Pastor at Fanning Springs Community Church since 2011.
     However, as of yesterday (Monday, July 1), Harmon has left his position in Fanning Springs to join Pastor Eugene Strickland in Bell, at the church formerly known as Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
     Strickland and Harmon will co-pastor the church, which has recently been rebranded as Redemption Church. Also, on the pastoral team is David Shepard who will serve as the Youth Pastor for the Redemption Church.

Church Revitalization
     Revitalization is the term used in the church world to describe the process of turning around a church that is in decline. Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was one such church that had seen decline in membership and activity in recent years.
     With the new leadership team in place and a fresh vision cast, the pastors already are sensing a renewed excitement in the church membership as well as in the community.
     In addition to the new name and renewed strategic focus, the church has begun work to remodel and update its facilities. The worship center recently received a “makeover” complete with new paint, seats, stage and decoration.

An Invitation
     Redemption Church invites anyone who is looking for a church family, to come and be welcomed. The church is a family-style, multi-generational, multi-ethnic church body. There are specific ministries for all age groups ranging from infants to senior adults.
     Redemption Church encourages guests to come “as you are” and to feel free to dress comfortably. The pastors are known to dress comfortably as well, and often can be seen preaching in jeans and a t-shirt! The worship style at Redemption Church is considered to be “blended,” which incorporates both traditional and contemporary elements and music styles. In other words, there is something for everyone. Service times are Sunday mornings at 11-ish and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
     Redemption Church is located at 2149 W. Gilchrist County Road 232, in Bell.
     Pastor Eugene Strickland or Pastor Alan Harmon may be reached at 352-210-6127 or 352-745-2958, pr by email at estrickland@wildblue.net or pastor_aharmon@yahoo.com respectively.


Daily News Website is
'Keeping It Fine In Year Nine'

Web Traffic Statistics For HardisonInk.com

Story and Graphic
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 1, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.
     THE WORLD –
HardisonInk.com, the 9-year-old daily news website, again showed an impressive monthly record of unique visitors, number of visits, pages viewed and hits in June as it is “Keeping It Fine In Year Nine.”
     The daily news website continues showing traffic that is impressive and attractive to advertisers, maintaining an excess of one million hits a month, and an average unique visitor rate of 11,900.
     A review of website traffic during June of 2019 from data collected from two, independent, third-party robotic website traffic monitoring programs – Google Analytics and cPanel reflects why this is the place for the most return on investment in advertising dollars.
    The number of hits in June was 1.3 million, or more exactly 1,282,259 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, 2019.
      The numbers for June 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’m looking forward to every second in 2019,” Hardison said. “As HardisonInk.com never breaks stride in its ninth year of existence, the theme this year is ‘Keeping It Fine In Year Nine.’”

UNIQUE VISITORS
    The June total of unique visitors 11,246. The average for the year is 11,900.
     “I remember one month during the first year, nine years ago,” Hardison said, “when I thought 800 was a lot of unique visitors to be touching the website in a month.
     “With a monthly amount this most recently past month in excess of 11,000 computer addresses visiting the daily news website each month in 2019,” he continued,” I am confident and proud to sell ads at the same rate that was good when there were only 800 a month. For nine years, 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 June, the number was 26,171 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 June was 92,008. There are ads on each page, and the readers see those ads.

HITS
     As noted the June total of hits was 1.3 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 more 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 grow in readers, viewers and listeners (yes, the videos on HardisonInk.com 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 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 for my accountant Fred Thackrey of Pinellas Park. 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.
     For the local business interests that buy ads, with a focus on the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, people who live or visit these areas are the people who see the site the most often.
     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. HardisonInk.com is the best place to spend dollars on advertising for any person selling anything to the people of the world, because people in this part of Florida, as well as all over the world see it.

 


Chamber focuses on feeding
starving children and protecting
potential elderly fraud victims

Chiefland
Jennifer Moore (left), a volunteer with Food4Kids that helps starving children in Alachua County and Levy County schools, accepts a check for $1,350 from Chiefland Chamber of Commerce President Lewrissa Mainwaring.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 28, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
A Chiefland Chamber of Commerce meeting focused on feeding starving children and protecting potential elderly fraud victims Friday (June 28).
     Jennifer Moore, one of the volunteers with the Food4Kids program that feeds children during weekends by sending them home with backpacks full of meals, accepted a $1,350 check from the Chiefland Chamber.
     Of the 887 children who took backpacks home each weekend during the previous school year as part of this program in Alachua County and Levy County, 136 were from Chiefland Elementary, Chiefland Middle School and Chiefland High School, Moore said.
     There were 113 children during the past school year who took backpacks home on weekends from Williston Elementary School and Williston Middle High School, Moore said. Joyce Bullock Elementary School was not mentioned.
     Another 41 children from Bronson Elementary School took backpacks home during the past school year. There is a potential to expand the program to include children from Bronson Middle High School next year, thanks to one person at the Chamber meeting potentially volunteering to accept responsibility to organize the service at BMHS.
     The other 597 children were from schools in Alachua County, Moore said.
     The Food4Kids program started locally in Alachua County and then Levy County schools were added. Although every child in Levy County is given free lunches, children from extremely poverty-stricken homes have difficulty finding food during weekends.
     Moore said she is grateful for the donation. The Food4Kids program needs more volunteers as well as funding for the coming school year.
     For more information about the Food4Kids program, click HERE.

Chiefland
Donna Moses of the Tampa office of Suncoast Federal Credit Union shares stories about members of that credit union who lost money to fraudsters or who were stopped from losing money as a result of tellers’ awareness of what to notice as a person tries to take out money in cash from their account.


Fraud Alert
     The keynote speaker at this luncheon meeting of the Chamber was Donna Moses of Suncoast Federal Credit Union.
     Her topic was fraud committed against senior citizens, not just members at that credit union, but also bank clients, brokerage firm clients and anyone who has money.
     Moses said members of this credit union are among the multitude of victims who fall for various scams.
     The first thing everyone should know, she said, is that the Internal Revenue Service is not going to have an agent call anyone and demand payment. Some victims fall for the scam when the caller threatens to come to their business and arrest them, Moses said.
     Moses gave examples of each form of fraud, although she said she could speak all day long about people being tricked out of their money.
     One teacher checked out of school early, Moses said, went to the credit union and was going to take out thousands of dollars. The fraudster was on the cell phone with the victim the whole time, Moses said, including while the teacher was at the credit union to take money out of her account.
     As the teacher was asked by the teller if anything was wrong, Moses said, the teacher quietly told the teller that the IRS was on the phone. The teller told her that is a scam, and the “IRS agent” hung up – never to bother the teacher again.
     In addition to the IRS scam, there is the sweepstakes scam, the romance scam and the family member in trouble scam.
     Thieves call unsuspecting people to say they have won a sweepstake but must pay the tax first to receive the money. Even though the victim never entered such a sweepstakes, he or she sends the caller money to “cover the taxes.”
     As for the romance scam, Moses said there are many Internet dating sites. People connect with others. They build relationships, and then the fraudster sets the hook.
     In one scam, a woman was asked to help a new lover’s business friend. Due to her “mistake” she sent millions of dollars instead of only the $850,000 the businessman wanted to transfer to an account. So, her lover-friend said she had to send $17,000 right away to defray the loss she caused.
     Thieves who trick people are becoming better versed in their lines and performances as they speak on the telephone or write and video chat via the Internet, Moses said. Many people after having become the victims of a scam or fraud do not report it to law enforcement agencies, not only because of the probability of those agents being unable to capture the crooks, but from the embarrassment of having fallen for what – on second look by the victims – is an obvious scam.
     Among the easiest targets for these lying thieves are people who are naïve, lonely or are less mentally alert to the wiles of sneaky, deceitful, evil criminals.
     The Federal Trade Commission offers 10 things to do to avoid fraud.
     Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. Here are some practical tips to help a person stay a step ahead, according to the FTC.
     Following is a verbatim copy of the top 10 methods to avoid schemes, as published by the FTC.
     1 Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email. 
     2 Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
     3 Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.
     4 Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
     5 Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
     6 Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
     7 Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
     8 Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
     9 Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
     10 Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC by clicking HERE.
     Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.
     If you spot a scam, report it by clicking HERE.
     Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.
     As for the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday, a catered buffet lunch was available, funded by Suncoast Federal Credit Union. Suncoast Federal Credit Union, with corporate offices in Tampa, is different from SunState Federal Credit Union, with its corporate offices in Gainesville.
    Paige Brookins, owner of The Gathering Table of Chiefland brought large, chilled strawberries, decorated with a thinly-coated red, white and blue frosting as sample of some of the many types of food her catering service offers.
     Brookins said many people know about her restaurant, but she wanted everyone to know about her catering service as well. This special strawberry dessert was brought to each person at the event as a surprise, which was in addition to the banana pudding dessert offered by the company that catered the lunch funded by the credit union that day.
     The meeting was held at the Community Building of Haven, which was formerly named Haven Hospice. This hospice group formerly had a care center in Chiefland for patients.
     Haven not only has its Community Building available for rent, but it has The Attic, a retail outlet for the resale of used items, which helps pay for costs incurred by people using Haven’s services at the end of their lives.


CF becomes
FANUC FAST Training Site

Published June 26, 2019 at 7:39 p.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida has been approved by FANUC America Corporation as a FANUC Authorized Satellite Training Academic Institution, offering Handling Tool, and 2D iRVision through the world leader in robotics.
     CF has offered credit and noncredit courses in robotics as part of its engineering programs for several years. The FAST designation from FANUC will allow machine operators, programmers, maintenance professionals and machine tool builders to receive a certificate of completion from the only FANUC Authorized Satellite Training Center in Florida.
     Manufacturing robots perform multiple tasks including automotive painting, welding, sorting, and metal fabrication. CF programs include FANUC Handling Tool Operations and Programming (32 hours), and FANUC 2D iRVision Operation and Programming (24 hours). Classes are held at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.  
     To learn more about training at CF, visit www.CF.edu/robotics
     FANUC America Corporation, headquartered in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is the leading supplier of robots, CNC systems and factory automation. Founded in 1982, FANUC America has over 1,500 employees in the Americas. Its team of automation professionals work in customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, IT, logistics, operations, manufacturing, product development, sales and marketing, and training.

 


Florida Forest Service
now accepting applications
for Longleaf Pine
Private Incentive Program

Published June 24, 2019 t 10:09 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE --
Today (Monday, June 24), the Florida Forest Service announced that applications are now being accepted for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 2.
     The primary objective of the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine forests in Florida by assisting eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners with the long-term investment necessary to establish and maintain the valuable longleaf pine ecosystem.
     “We are excited to expand the program this year to include all counties within the historical range of longleaf pine, providing assistance to more landowners across the state,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service.
     Longleaf pine forests are native to the southeastern United States and are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America. Longleaf pines provide high-quality wood products and are valued for their resistance to damage by insects, disease, wildfire and storms. Due to urbanization and conversion to other land uses, longleaf pine forests have been dramatically reduced and now cover less than four percent of their historical range. Florida is home to more than 2 million acres of longleaf pine ecosystems, which represents more than half of all current longleaf pine forests.
     The Longleaf Pine Incentive Program offers incentive payments for the completion of timber stand improvement, invasive species control, prescribed burning, planting longleaf pine, establishing native plant understory and mechanical underbrush treatments. Private lands in the 58 Florida counties north of Lake Okeechobee are eligible. To learn more and access an application, visit FloridaForestService.com or contact your local Florida Forest Service county forester.
     The Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program is supported through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with funding from the Southern Company, USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Defense, Halliburton Company and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
     The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.

 
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.

--UPDATED--
TUESDAY  JULY 16   7:39 a.m.
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