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CFEC Donates To Lions
On Wednesday evening (Oct. 16), Madison Redd and Alison Deloach attended the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club meeting on behalf of Central Florida Electric Cooperative. CFEC donated an entire bucket full of eyeglasses to the Lions Club as a part of the Eyeglass Recycling Program. These glasses were collected at CFEC offices in Cross City, Chiefland and Inglis. They will be sent to be sanitized and sorted before going to children and young adults in need. CFEC thanks its members for donating these eyeglasses as well as the Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club for all it does for the community. More information on this program can be found by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Oct. 19, 2019 at 5:09 p.m.
Information and Photo Provided by CFEC
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Friday Night Done Right
disappears from Dixie County;
Anti-Drug Coalition provides
other means to help people
combat problems from drug abuse
This screen shot from a Facebook post captures a message.
By Bailee Osteen
University of Florida Student Journalist
© Oct. 10, 2019 at
DIXIE COUNTY -- While Friday Night Done Right, which was formerly held on different Friday nights in Cross City and Old Town, has been cancelled, Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition (DCADC) continues forming new ways to combat the county’s drug and alcohol abuse.
Friday Night Done Right was an event held by the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition in order to give the community a free, fun and safe environment to go to enjoy Friday nights. The idea was to reduce the options for teenagers and young adults to participate in parties or situations where they could be introduced to alcohol or other mind-altering drugs.
Via Facebook, the DCADC released a statement saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of our monthly Friday Night Done Right events.
“For over two years we have been at the Cross City Park every first Friday, and for a year and a half we have been in Old Town every third Friday, but unfortunately, due to low turnout, we cannot continue to host these events,” the DCADC noted on a Facebook post.
The Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition put on Friday Night Done Right for five consecutive years. DCADC Executive Director Katrina VanAernam explained “Strategies that worked years ago may not work anymore.”
This screen shot from part of a poster shows a different interactive event the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition is providing in its efforts to help the community reduce problems caused by drug abuse.
Despite this small setback, the coalition has planned many new strategies and events it hopes will have an even greater impact on the community.
A new interactive activity called Hidden in Plain Sight has come to fruition. It is a mock teenager’s bedroom. In the room setup to resemble a teen's bedroom, participants are challenged to find several objects that teenagers use to conceal or hide things they don’t want adults to see. These hiding places are where teenagers and others can put their drugs, paraphernalia such as pipes and hypodermic needles, tobacco, alcohol, large amounts of cash or other items they do not want found by a casual observer – such as a parent or guardian.
The challenge for the seekers is to see if they can spot or identify anything within this mock bedroom setting to determine if the person is experimenting with drugs or alcohol. The idea behind Hidden In Plain Sight is to raise awareness about how sneaky kids and others can be, and what the signs to look for are. Participants must be 21 years of age or older to participate in this challenge.
Hidden In Plain Sight is taking place in the DCADC offices, which are next to Ameris Bank at 79 NE 121 St. in Cross City. Ameris Bank is helping the DCADC as the coalition strives to help members of the community overcome problems caused by alcohol abuse and drug abuse in Dixie County.
DCADC Program Coordinator Debbie Sweem can be contacted via email email@example.com to schedule a reservation for an individual or a group to participate in the Hidden In Plain Sight interactive event.
DCADC Executive Director VanAernam said the coalition just completed a large survey to assess the community’s knowledge on drug and alcohol use, as well as to see how many people are using.
“We are data driven,” she said of the coalition. “We are constantly assessing and evaluating the community to better serve it.”
She said the DCADC must adapt and change its methods just like any other organization amends or revises its strategies to accomplish its goals.
The Levy County Prevention Coalition and the Gilchrist County Anti-Drug Coalition are entities in the other two counties of the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties, which perform similar functions as they work within their communities to help people affected in a negative manner from drug abuse.
Publisher's Note: Bailee Osteen is a journalism student at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. She writes articles published in HardisonInk.com as part of her academic regimen there. She is a graduate of Dixie County High School, and her articles and photographs were published here then as well.
‘Come to the Cabaret’
music program held
at the Williston Public Library
Warming up before the audience arrives, songstress Mandy Fugate and accompanist Sara Nussel prepare for a musical program at the Williston Public Library. The 'Power of Passion' series continued Friday, Oct. 11, when it started at 7 p.m. with 'Come to the Cabaret.'
Story and Photo
by Lisa Statham Posteraro
Published Oct. 14, 2019 at 1:39 p.m.
WILLISTON -- Continuing the “Power of Passion” theme, the Friends of the Williston Library (FOWL) hosted the second in the series of programs featuring Mandy Fugate and Sara Nussel, both of whom are passionate about music.
It was a Friday night (Oct. 11), and the crowd was small; but those attending enjoyed not only beautiful, lively, touching music but also had fun singing along! A good time was had by all!
An added plus? “Singing stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs along the spinal column,” said Nussel.
Deep breathing and yoga also stimulate the vagus nerve. Activation of the vagus nerve keeps your immune system in check and releases an assortment of hormones and enzymes such as acetylcholine and oxytocin. This results in reductions in inflammation, improvements in memory, and feelings of relaxation. Vagus nerve stimulation has also been shown to reduce allergic reactions and tension headaches. (“Natural Vagus Nerve Stimulation,” Dr. Arielle Schwartz)
The hour-long program, as advertised, featured “American standards” as well as compositions by the musically gifted Nussel, who taught music in the public schools for years, was choir director and continues as the pianist for the First United Methodist Church of Williston. Fugate is passionate about musical theater, but also loves “regular” theater and recently appeared in the Gainesville Community Theater’s production of Sunset Village, by Michael Presley Bobbitt.
Who doesn’t recognize the theme songs to Cabaret and Annie? And anything “George Gershwin” And “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz could elicit a tear or two. Then there were some catchy tunes – spirituals, folk songs and an original song by local songster Anna Moo – with which the audience could sing along: “God Put a Rainbow,” “You Are My Sunshine” and “Florida.” The duo added some verses to “The Peanut Song,” which had been introduced at the recent Peanut Festival.
Also included were songs Nussel wrote, based on a poem a friend shared and a musical she has envisioned about health care in the United States.
Look for future programs at the Williston Public Library which feature presenters who reveal the “power of passion.”
If you would love to share that about which you are passionate, please contact Lisa Posteraro by calling 352-339-1201. The plan is to have at least one more program before the end of the calendar year; as the holidays approach, perhaps it will be a workshop, which features crafts such as stamping/card-making.
Satellite transfer station opens
to help Levy County residents
Steve Keene, 44, of Bronson is the county worker who mans the new satellite transfer station. Here he is standing on Friday afternoon (Oct. 11) next to one of the two big compactors for household garbage
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 11, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – A number of Levy County residents will enjoy having a new location to bring their household garbage, recyclables, brush and old appliances.
This is a view of the area where brush and appliances can be deposited. This transfer station does not accept tires, electronics (like TVs), or hazardous waste.
A satellite transfer station opened Oct. 4, next to Levy County Road 347 between Fowler’s Bluff and Cedar Key.
Levy County residents do not have to pay for these items, just like when they take them to the solid waste transfer station located between Bronson and Williston.
The new transfer station is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To reach the location from the southern community limits sign for Fowler’s Bluff, go south on Levy County Road 347 (which is heading toward Cedar Key) and travel for about eight and one-half miles.
The driveway into the area is located on the east side of the road (which will be a left turn for people going from the Fowler’s Bluff community).
Household garbage is brought to the site and deposited in a compactor chute by the Levy County resident.
There is a limit to the amount of brush or yard debris. There is a limit of two cubic yards per day. That is about the amount of brush that would fit in the back of one pickup truck that had a long bed.
There is a recycling trailer, there, just like at some other places in Levy County.
This transfer station does not accept tires, electronics (like TVs), or hazardous waste.
This project came to be thanks to the leadership of Levy County Vice Chairman Matt Brooks championing the idea, with support from Chairman John Meeks and county commissioners Rock Meeks, Lilly Rooks and Mike Joyner.
Benny Jerrels is the department director for Levy County Solid Waste.
For more information about the Levy County Solid Waste Department, click HERE.
Williston City Council meeting;
Levy County Fair cancelled for 2019
Williston City Council President Nancy Wininger (left) listens to City Councilman Charles Goodman explain his reason for bringing to the forefront again a matter that had been discussed previously regarding the president’s taking an action before the City Council agreed to take an action. He reminded her that she signs papers with authority, only as the president who is doing so with the approval of a majority of the City Council, not as an executive who can act solely on her own authority. He also said the city manager does not set the city clerk’s salary. That is done by the will of the majority of the City Council, according to the City Charter.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 10, 2019 at 6:09 p.m.
WILLISTON -- The first set of outstanding students of the month and a dynamic duo of Williston Middle High School FFA members highlighted the Tuesday night (Oct. 8) meeting of the Williston City Council.
While young people brought a sense of joy and innovation, there were a couple of low points that night, too.
Debra Jones, a former Williston City Council member and one of the charter members of the Levy County Fair Association, expressed her frustration from being unable to reach an agreement Tuesday night on city property that is used for the annual Levy County Fair.
The Fair Association’s plan now is to have either a lease agreement or an annual license, in both instances with options for annual renewal for 10 years, to keep the fair going at the Williston Municipal Airport Property near Horsemen’s Park.
Meanwhile, though, Jones said the Fair Association lacks the number of volunteers it needs to make the fair happen in 2019. That ship has sailed. There will be no Levy County Fair in 2019, she said. While no fair is planned for 2019, Jones seemed relatively certain the association will somehow find the number of volunteers needed for the annual event to happen in 202o.
There is enough seed money to keep it going into the start of the fair event that can happen in 2020, she said, but more volunteers are needed to assure success.
Jones intimated that she thought this matter would be on the agenda for that City Council meeting two weeks earlier. She thought an agreement would be ready on Tuesday night, too.
There are some finer points in the potential agreement, though, including whether the Fair Association wants to lease the property or if it simply wants a license to use the property for the fair.
At the meeting on Oct. 22, which begins at 6 p.m., the City Council and the Levy County Fair Association may be able to complete a land-use agreement either through a lease or license for the Levy County Fair to happen in 2020, and potentially for the subsequent 10 years afterward on the property near Horseman’s Park.
If the fair fails to return after a few years, though, the use of the land will revert to be available for other interests, given the discussion from Tuesday night translates into whatever contractual agreement is reached between the two parties.
Another low point for the night was when City Councilman Charles Goodman called City Council President Nancy Wininger on the carpet for allegedly authorizing an increase in pay for City Manager Scott Lippman without prior support of the majority of City Council.
Goodman indicated that it appears as if Wininger authorized the city manager’s pay without first a discussion and approval by the City Council at an open public meeting.
Goodman said he did not remember addressing the question of giving the city manager an increase in pay.
Councilman Goodman reminded President Wininger that she has the power to sign checks in regard to budgeted items, however she only does so after the majority of the City Council approves such expenditures.
One of Wininger’s responses was that no one provides a class in how to be a Williston City Council president, or vice president. Another complaint she continued to voice, which she has done before, is against the Florida Statutes’ requirement that public business be conducted in the public’s view.
Wininger has stated repeatedly that she does not like the Florida Government-In-The-Sunshine Law. It prevents her from discussion with other voting City Council members matters upon which she will vote – except when the general public can see and hear that discussion.
There was poor audio quality during Tuesday night’s meeting, with some audience members saying they could not hear what was being said.
Wininger promised to approve by her signature only the payments that are something that a majority of the City Council has approved for payment prior to her signature being provided.
The meeting started on a happy note, with the restart of a program to honor outstanding students.
The Williston Mayor’s Students of the Month Program started for the 2019-2020 school year on Tuesday night.
(from left) Briar Smith, Marley Thomas, Amirah Grimes and Miranda Thomas each hold certificates noting they are Outstanding Students. The certificates are awarded for the students’ academic excellence, leadership, citizenship and attendance. Each of the four girls also received a certificate for a free pizza from a local restaurant. They mayor presented each child with pins that are a combination of the American flag and the Florida flag as well. Mayor Jerry Robinson is standing behind the students.
Mayor Jerry Robinson said he was excited to start the program again this school year.
The youngest student to earn the honors in the first month is Briar Smith, a second grader at Joyce Bullock Elementary School. She is the daughter of Jeremy and Lydia Smith. The teacher who nominated this student is Kaitlyn Bannon.
Marley Thomas, a fourth grader at Williston Central Christian Academy, earned the recognition after being nominated by her teacher Shelby Brooks. Marley Thomas is the daughter of Diane Greene.
Amirah Grimes, a fifth grader from Williston Elementary School, was nominated by her teacher Michelle Ruiz. Amirah Grimes is the daughter of Sarah Grimes.
Miranda Thomas, a sixth grader from Williston Middle High School, was nominated by the WMHS Sixth Grade Team. Miranda Thomas is the daughter of Cheri Primous-Thomas.
WMHS FFA leaders Adam Sistrunk and Emily Moxley speak to the Williston City Council on Tuesday night (Oct. 8). They are standing next to one of the lending library structures.
In another instance showing the world that the young people in Williston are thoughtful was the start of a lending library – beyond the Levy County Public Library unit located in Williston.
The Williston Middle High School FFA, WMHS FFA Alumni, the National FFA Alumni and the Williston Woman’s Club are starting a new program. The National FFA Alumni gave the local FFA Alumni $900 for the project.
WMHS FFA leaders Adam Sistrunk and Emily Moxley told the City Council they would like to place three relatively small structures in three city parks – Cornelius Williams Park, John Henry Park and Heritage Park.
The project involves placing books in the structures for young people to take, read and then return.
The three lending libraries will be operating on an honor system, where the readers will take a book and then replace it. Likewise, books will be placed in the boxes by people donating to the cause.
The books are primarily intended to be related to agriculture, however there is no limit to the range of topics to be shared by youthful readers.
The lending libraries, once they are established, will be maintained by the WMHS FFA Alumni and members of the Williston Woman’s Club. Three adults from those groups were in the audience Tuesday night -- Camille Thompson and Emily King of the WMHS FFA Alumni, and Katrina Sistrunk of both the WMHS FFA Alumni and the Woman’s Club.
The lending libraries will be placed in those parks by WMHS FFA members who will dig the holes, and put the structures where the Williston City Utility staff note are safe locations.
Williston City Councilman Charles Goodman reminded everyone to call 8-1-1 (eight-one-one) before digging. That is the number to call for any excavation in Florida. Calling this number will help the person avoid damaging underground utilities like wires and pipes.
In other action, the city proclaimed that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Williston. There is a plan during the Oct. 22 City Council meeting to review the contract with the city manager.
Little royals take center stage
at peanut festival in Williston
Baby Peanut Festival King Aiden Mederious and Baby Peanut Festival Queen Maisyn Grant pose for photographs.
Story and Photos
By Terry Witt, HardisonInk.com Correspondent
© Oct. 6, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
WILLSTON -- Peanut royalty was crowned in Williston Saturday (Oct. 5).
Little Peanut Festival King Tucker Ladd and Little Peanut Festival Queen Claire Vivian Jerrels enjoy their moment of fame.
Rilynn Daniels, 7 months, of Williston casts a friendly look over Dad's shoulder during the peanut pageants.
The little royals were the center of attention at the 31st Annual North Central Florida Peanut Festival.
Maisyn Grant was crowned Baby Peanut Queen. First runner-up was Elanor Elaine Holder, second runner-up Lacey Jacob and third runner-up Marley Jo McComb.
Aiden Mederious was crowned Baby Peanut King. First runner-up was Brantley Richburg and second runner-up Maverick James Carabeo.
Claire Vivian Jerrels was crowned Little Peanut Queen. First runner-up was Madison Boswell, second runner-up Abigail Kalback and third runner-up Emery Jewel Cain.
Tucker Ladd was crowned Little Peanut King. Tate Visintin was first runner-up.
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones visits with John Scarberry who recently moved to Levy County from South Dakota.
The festival, sponsored the Williston Chamber of Commerce, took place at Heritage Park. A recently extended 6-feet wide concrete sidewalk gave visitors a more comfortable walk through vendors on both sides.
The completed Veterans Memorial was an attraction at Heritage Park. It was apparent many visitors hadn’t seen the Veterans Memorial. The attractive memorial honors veterans from all branches of the military.
Visitors to the peanut festival take advantage of the recently completed 6-feet wide sidewalk through Heritage Park.
Williston City Councilman Charles Goodman, a disabled American veteran who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, mans the Disabled American Veteran booth.
DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS
Williston City Councilman Charles Goodman, a disabled American Army veteran, manned the Disabled American Veterans booth. He suffers from the effects of Agent Orange, a defoliant used in the Central Highlands of Vietnam where he served.
The chemical was sprayed before troops arrived in a given area, but Goodman said he felt the chemical on his skin when he walked through the heavily forested area on patrol.
“You could feel it burn on your skin,” he said.
University of Florida student scientist Jeanette Pirlo points to 10-million-year-old fossilized elephant bones found near Williston.
FOSSILIZED ANCIENT ELEPHANTS
One of the most visited booths along the Heritage Park midway was the University of Florida’s exhibit displaying 10-million-year-old fossilized elephant bones found several miles south of Williston.
Jeanette Pirlo said the ancient bones were discovered by a Williston area farmer who notified the University of Florida. The species of elephant found south of Williston was known as Gomphothere. The Gomphotheres were replaced by Mammoths. She said the two species were cousins. Both species are extinct. The Mammoths’ fossils were on display at the opposite side of the tent and are about 10,000 years old.
Pirlo said both species were early elephant species. All of the fossilized elephant bones were found within 40 miles of Gainesville. Pirlo works for the Vertebrate Paleontology Department at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.
TOLL ROAD OPPONENT
A short distance away was the booth of a group opposed to extension of the Florida Turnpike through Levy County.
Kim Wheeler was in charge of the tent. Some of the photos on the wall showed satellite photographs of Florida at night. The heavily populated coastal areas were heavily lighted and areas like Levy County were dark.
Wheeler said she is hopeful the state will avoid building the turnpike extension through untouched wilderness in Levy County that should be preserved for future generations and for the sake of conserving habitat for rare and endangered species.
“We want starlight, not headlights,” read statement under the satellite photos.
She said her property adjoins Goethe State Forest. Three rare Indigo snakes live in her backyard. Wheeler said the Indigos in her yard keep the poisonous coral snakes away.
Wheeler said that if the state builds the toll road through Levy County, she would prefer the state connect the turnpike to U.S. 19 rather than destroy pristine forests, wetlands, swamps, conservation property, as well as agricultural property.
“We want to avoid the springs. We want to avoid the farmlands,” she said. “There’s nobody on U.S. 27; there’s nobody on U.S. 19.”
“I don’t want toll roads,” she added.
for food giveaway on Nov. 23
Published Oct. 3, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.
CHIEFLAND -- On Nov. 23 (a Saturday) from 9 a.m. until noon (or until the food runs out, the Tri-County Community Resource Center (TCCRC) is scheduled to present the next drive-through Farm Share event, in partnership with Central Florida Electric Cooperative, the City of Chiefland, and a variety of supporting contributors.
The distribution point for the food giveaway is scheudled to be Charles Strickland Recreational Park, 1500 N.W. 23rd Ave. in Chiefland.
Any individual or organization, or student group, that is interested in participating as a volunteer to help with this event is being sought by the TCCRC.
Last year, almost 30,000 pounds of food was distributed to more than 1,200 people. This couldn’t have been accomplished without the amazing community collaboration last year. This year, the distribution of more food to more people is planned.
The TCCRC is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Friday hours vary. Call 352-507-4000 or visit 15 N. Main St. during office hours to learn about volunteer opportunities for the Farm Share event slated for Nov. 23.
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