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Friends and guests of the Central Ridge Library were asked to purchase a ticket, ride on a bus for an unknown time, go to an unknown dinner and show and trust that the Friends of the Central Ridge Library knew what they were doing!

From the community, 74 people came out in full force to join the most recent excursion to raise money for the Central Ridge library.

Attendees began to line up at the library at 8 a.m. even though the buses weren't leaving until 9. Were they excited? You bet!

On the way to the event, Kellie Rexford and Robyn Brannegan entertained participants with monologues and get-acquainted themes. The first stop was at Burger King in Winter Garden. Although the guests on the first bus knew we were stopping to stretch our legs and get a cup of coffee, guests on the second bus had no idea why we were stopping. Among the comments were, "I paid good money to go to Burger King?" and "Is this the mystery?"

The next stop was at what appeared to be a shopping mall. After the Burger King visit, some participants thought this was another feigned stop. Surprise! It was the final destination _ Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Show Theater. It proved to be exactly what the Friends told everyone the trip would be.

Each attendee had a wine carafe, and hot and cold hors d'oeuvres were served while the stage was set for the Murder Mystery Show. Audience members were asked to participate and participate they did!

After the two-hour show it was back to the Central Ridge Library where chairman for the event, Sue Rexford, presented a goodie bag with Halloween pumpkins filled with candy to each attendee, and 20 mystery prizes were drawn and awarded at random.

PREPARING FOR EMERGENCY: To help ensure emergency medical service systems and facilities respond properly to biological and/or chemical related public health emergencies, Seven Rivers Community Hospital has accepted a $106,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to purchase personal protective equipment, implement training and exercise programs and purchase applicable medications and vaccines. From left, registered nurses Randy Long and Lynne West, operations director for Emergency Services/Critical Care Services, work together during a "dress out" exercise at the hospital. The training provided select hospital staff members with decontamination and patient care guidelines. This year marks the beginning of a five-year initiative to advance the community's preparedness in the event of bioterrorism or a related public health emergency. Seven Rivers Community Hospital is Citrus County's facility of choice for this initiative.


READY FOR INSPECTION: Rear Adm. Harvey Johnson, right, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District, visited Coast Guard Station Yankeetown on Oct. 17. Officer in charge, BMC Mark Dalrymple, left, looks on as the admiral inspects the facility. The admiral complimented the crew of the station for a job well done.


Congratulations are in order for Citrus County master gardener, Chet Olshewsky, who was recently named Master Gardener of the Year in Florida.

At the 23rd Annual Florida Master Gardener Training Conference in Gainesville, Olshewsky was honored with the prestigious title of Master Gardener of the Year by Tom Wichman, Florida master gardener coordinator. This is no small feat, as all master gardeners in the state were in contention for this award.

At a meeting of his fellow master gardeners held Oct. 16, Bruce Ide, courtesy extension agent and master gardener coordinator of the UF/IFAS Citrus County Extension Office, presented Olshewsky with a plaque in recognition of his achievements.

Olshewsky has recorded 1,926 volunteer hours, has made more than 200 house calls, given talks to various garden clubs around the county and has served as adviser to several businesses in the area. He has logged 9,657 miles driving throughout the county while he teaches, mentors and shares his knowledge and experience.

Olshewsky believes that service is the rent we pay for living, and he lives his life that way. During his 16 years as a master gardener in Florida, he has contributed to the beautification of numerous churches, schools, memorial gardens, libraries, individual homes and community developments. He gives plant clinics at local libraries to help homeowners resolve problems with landscaping, maintenance, plant disease and insects.

In March, in recognition of his outstanding and invaluable service to the community, Olshewsky received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite.

In the past year, Olshewsky has been involved in such projects as landscaping at Hernando Elementary School and the beautification of the Citrus County Landfill. He has conducted plant clinics at Citrus Memorial Hospital and Sugarmill Woods Homeowners Association. He also was involved with the Citrus County Master Gardener Program and First Lutheran Church Memorial Garden. He made more than 200 house calls throughout the county.

Olshewsky gives a lot of credit to his two "angels" _ Lois Wagner and Linda Vasquez, who accompany him and assist his efforts in the community with enthusiasm.

Now in his 80s, Chet shares his father's advice: "Chet, you've acquired a good deal of knowledge. All of that will be lost unless you share it with others."

Sharing with others is what Olshewsky does best and all who know him are proud of his achievement as the state's Master Gardener of the Year.

Master gardener Chet Olshewsky, center, was named Florida's Master Gardener of the Year. He is shown with master gardeners Linda Vasquez, left, who holds the notebook that was submitted as part of the nomination package, and Lois Wagner, right, who holds the certificate awarded to him by the Citrus County office in honor of this achievement.

COMMUNITY PRIDE AWARD: Citrus County Solid Waste manager and Keep Citrus County Beautiful director Susan Metcalf, center front, presented the KCCB Pride Award to Inverness Mayor Joyce Rogers for the remarkable downtown Inverness renovation. On hand for the Oct. 21 ceremony, from left, were, Inverness City Council members John Sullivan, Jacque Hepfer, and Richard Kauffman; County Commissioner Josh Wooten; KCCB's Mike Colbert and John Quintas; City Manager Frank DiGiovanni and KCCB directors Jimmy Carr, Joe Turck, Frank Yetner, Pete Peterson, with KCCB executive director Carol Lee Wallis.