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Features

  • Airheads from all over the state converged on a 45-acre farm located between Cedar Key and Chiefland recently for the Second Annual Suwannee River Tech Day and Camp.

    The international Airheads Beemer Club is for riders who own BMW bikes with air-cooled engines. Most anything that happens with an Airhead Beemer can be repaired on the side of the road with the tool kit that BMW provides — with the right knowledge, of course.

    That’s why the Airheads motto is “Simple by Choice.”

  • Ninety-year-old Olga, a long-term resident at Tri-County Nursing Home, in Trenton, looked a little confused when a small group of people entered her room asking questions about expecting visitors Thursday.

    But her confusion melted when she saw that two of the group’s members were short, hairy and of the canine variety.

    “I love animals,” she said as she caressed one of the dogs sitting on her bed, “ and they are so adorable.”

  • Three miles from Williston off a bumpy hilly road, a passage through scrub and pasture leads the unsuspecting traveler to the utopian sanctuary that Dr. Raymond Webber calls home.

    More than 400 species of plants thrive on his 100-acre bit of paradise that has been more than 16 years in the making.

    “Not many people in Florida have their house built into the side of a cliff,” Webber, an endodonist by trade, explains as he begins his trek through the assorted gardens that he has designed.

    Indeed, the vista from this porch is breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Levy County will have less stray and feral cats breeding on its streets thanks to a local Trap-Neuter-Return program.

    On Thursday, Oct. 29, members of Sheltering Hands Inc., an organization that rescues and finds homes for pets in Marion and Levy Counties, received about 39 feral cats needing to be spayed or neutered.

  • A local Levy County group joined the fight against two global epidemics — hunger and obesity — by participating in the "Lose For Good" campaign. 

    As local Weight Watchers members lose weight, they’ve also been collecting food to donate to Bronson United Methodist Church to help their neighbors in need. Within seven weeks, the group lost 854.6 pounds, and collected 488 pounds of food. 

  • O.C. Graham was once like the rest of us. He liked to party, said Aljoseph Carnegie, president of the Tri-County Branch of the NAACP at its 19th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Tommy Usher Community Center in Chiefland on Oct. 24.

    “He liked to party until God took him in,” Carnegie, a Raleigh resident, said. “And he was blind, really blind, until God restored his sight.”

  • The sunlight strained at the edges between clusters of bromeliad-laden tupelo trees, water oaks and cabbage palms.  

    Thin shafts of light breaking through the canopy revealed flitting birds and clouds of mosquitoes hovering over black water dotted with the heart-shaped leaves of cow lilies.

    Snakes, in search of prey, slithered in and out of the murk below, and fiddler crabs scurried over rocks and tiny islands of gnarled tree roots.

  • A few years, ago Earl Damann, of Williston, saw an article in the paper about a new group seeking volunteers.

    “Oh, I think it would be fun,” he told his wife Stella. He called the telephone number.

    They joined the fledgling group Citizens on Patrol, and after more than 7,250 hours of service to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office he’s giving up the fun because a heredity kidney disease is forcing him to the sidelines. That’s a little over 906 days of 8-hour shifts.

  • Seahorse Key gets its name from the shape of the island, but its rich history is complex: a detention camp for displaced Seminole Indians, an outpost with a lighthouse built in 1854 to guide ships into the port of Cedar Key and a prison during the Civil War.

  • Tons of delicious seafood, a parade, live music on the Gulf and shopping in historic downtown Cedar Key – What more could anyone want? The 40th Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival takes place this weekend Saturday Oct. 17 and Sunday Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • First United Methodist Church in Chiefland is holding its annual pumpkin and gourd sale in front of the church on U.S. Highway 27A/State Road 500. Alice St. John, who was selling pumpkins on Saturday, Oct. 10, said the church has 563 big pumpkins, 10 boxes of assorted smaller pumpkins and gourds to sell. Small pumpkins are 50 cents each and prices on the larger  pumpkins go up to $20. The church is also selling swan gourds and pie pumpkins. The stand is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including Sundays, until Oct. 31. 

  • The kickoff for the 2010 Gilchrist-Levy Counties Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society will be held Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Trenton Community Center,

    Teams will be signed up at the kickoff for $100 per team. The fee allows teams to set up a booth and give away items at the kickoff.

    For more information contact Courtney Smith at (352) 376-6866, Ext. 5059 or courtney.smith@cancer.org.

  • All the grace, color and tradition that is the Kentucky Derby will move South Oct. 24 when Haven Hospice hosts Fall at the Derby at Black Prong Equestrian Center.

    The 250-acre property, nestled in the heart of the Goethe Forest, will showcase an evening of fun for benefactors of the end-of-life care organization.

    Beginning at 5:30 p.m., guests will be entertained by the Rick Gordon Band, who will play throughout the evening.

    Both live and silent auctions will take place with the center’s Aulson Hall as the focal point for items that have been donated.

  • The Rev. Billy Mayo will speak at Bronson United Methodist Church on Sunday, Oct. 11  at the 10:45 a.m. Homecoming service.

    Pastor Mario Chacon extends an invitation to members of the congregation and the community to attend this special 142nd Homecoming service. Come and hear God's Word preached in Mayo's own captivating and unique style. Invite a family member or friend to attend with you.

  • The Partners in Prevention of Substance Abuse (PIPSA)  Faith-Based Coalition of Levy County is sponsoring its 4th Annual Hope in the Park Hope fest on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    The event will be held at Edie Buie Park in Chiefland, and includes fun, games and free hamburgers and hotdogs.

  • The Levy County 4-H clubs kicked off the official beginning of their year with an Annual Roundup this past Saturday at the IFAS Extension office in Bronson.  The clubs showed potential members the benefits of joining 4-H, which is celebrating its 100th year in Florida, by holding shooting and archery exhibitions, as well as a barbecue chicken cook-off for kids. Albert Fuller, extension director for 4-H in Levy County, said the Annual roundup was a big recruitment tool for the local clubs, averaging about 100 to 150 enrollments every year. &ldquo

  • A lot of little girls go to bed and dream of ponies.  But not Patricia Engesser.  Her childhood dreams were filled with snarling tigers.  And she didn’t wake up screaming.

    “I always wanted a tiger,” Engesser said.  “So, I married a guy with one.”

    Engesser and her husband, Robert, have been married about 26 years and own The Zoo AKA Jungle Safari between Chiefland and Trenton.

    It is one of six licensed wild animal facilities in Levy County.

  • In the Jim Sensbach Memorial Hall of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5625 stands a single round table. It’s a symbol of unending concern on the part of mothers who couldn’t sleep at night and fathers who had to act strong when they sent their children to war.

    It’s draped with a white tablecloth to remind Americans of the purity of the soldier’s intent.

    Empty chairs await the soldiers’ return, and slices of lemon on plates hint at the bitterness suffered by those gone missing or taken prisoner.

  • About eight months ago, 45-year-old Polly “P.J.” Jensen noticed a lump under her left arm.

    She was unable to afford health insurance and ineligible for Medicaid.  

    “So I kind of set it aside at the time – something I should have never done,” P.J. said. “Something every women should never do.”

    After a while, the mild discomfort became painful tenderness. “It got to the point that I couldn’t wear anything tight around that area.”

    She finally went to the doctor early this month.

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Manatee Springs State Park, along with The Friends of Manatee/Fanning Springs Parks, Inc. will host the Suwannee River clean-up effort in support of the 16th Annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.