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Local News

  • Gulf Hammock community seeks to reestablish original boundary, identity

    The citizens of the Gulf Hammock area, located around 17 miles southwest of Chiefland along U.S. Highway 19, want their official identity back.

    With the blessing of an endorsement letter from the county, which was won unanimously at the Levy County Commission meeting on Aug. 22, the people of Gulf Hammock appear to be inching toward one of their major goals, which is the re-establishment of an original boundary and zip code to reflect Gulf Hammock.

    The prelude to that endorsement was a July meeting in Gulf Hammock between area residents and county officials. They discussed complaints over emergency response times to the area as well as regaining their postal community status as Gulf Hammock.

  • FDOT to add sidewalk, pave Picnic Street

    By JOHN TYLER NILSEN
    Citizen Correspondent

    Bronson Town Council members unanimously approved an extension of a Small County Outreach Program agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation. The extension will go toward paving and adding a sidewalk to Picnic Street.

    Virginia Phillips and Robert Partin, candidates for the First District Council Seat said it was wonderful to see the picnic street project approved by the council.

    “You’ve got to use grants today. It’s the only way you can get any major construction done,” Partin said.

    Councilwoman Katie Parks said she believes that the current group of councilmembers has a good chemistry. Parks said she hopes whoever wins the election will gel with the rest of the council.

    The council also approved a renewal of employee health, vision and, dental insurance for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

  • City commissioners discuss parks in budget talks

    Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey reported Monday, Aug. 14, during a budget meeting of the City Commission that the city General Fund is balanced with the roll back rate of 6.9850 mills on property taxes in the city.

    Ellzey expects the city to collect approximately $1.56 million in taxes, which would be an increase of $177,082 over the previous year. More than half, $878,608 is anticipated to come from Ad Valorem Taxes. License and Permit is expected to generate $387,700; Intergovernmental Revenue, $275,131; Charges for Services, $21,792; Fines and Bonds, $13,200; and Miscellaneous Revenue, $21,585 for a total of $2.28 million in total operating revenue. Adding in contingency and prior year refund of $108,000 increases the total operating revenue and grants to $2.39 million, an overall decrease from the previous year of $200,492.

    Discussion on the cost of park maintenance, aging police and fire department fleets and the aging sewer system took up most of the 30-minute meeting.

    The 2016-17 adopted budget reflects a total budget of $114,025 and the request for 2017-18 is $117,117, an increase of $3,092.

  • Texting bill gets Levy support

     Emily Slosberg, a Democratic State Representative from Boca Raton, was a long way from her home district.

    But in her visit to Levy County earlier this month, she found common ground in support of her cause – passing stricter texting-while-driving laws.

    Her passion has led her on a statewide campaign to drum up support to pressure the legislature  to strengthen the state’s texting and driving laws.

    Slosberg presented a resolution to the Levy Board of County Commissioners on Aug. 8 that urges the legislature to act on the issue by making texting and driving a primary offense.

    The resolution, on a motion by Commissioner Mike Joyner, passed unanimously and received an endorsement from Sheriff Bobby McCallum.

    “This will save some lives throughout the state and in Levy County, I really believe,” McCallum said.

  • Rotary makes a difference

    By REBECCA GALLAGHER, Citizen Correspondent

    Rotary District 6940 Governor Lisa Weeks visited the Chiefland Rotary Club and the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club where she delivered enthusiastic speeches about “Making a Difference,” the theme chosen by Rotary International President Ian H.S. Riseley. 

    She visited Chiefland Rotarians Wednesday and Suwannee Valley Rotarians Thursday.

    Weeks reminded the groups of the challenge Riseley had put to Rotarians to “make a difference” by planting a tree for every member in the club between July 1, 2017 and Earth Day, April 22, 2018. 

    Weeks said, “It doesn’t have to be a big tree, just a little sapling.”

  • Parks’ booster organization to hold meet-and-greet

     The Friends of Manatee Springs Parks Inc. will be holding a meet-and-greet Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m.

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    The event will be held at the Fanning Springs Conference room located in Fanning Spring State Park.

    Everyone that comes to the meeting will receive free food and a free park pass. The event is showcasing the Citizens Support Organization (CSO) for the Manatee Springs State Park, Fanning Springs State Park and the Nature Coast State Trail, and the support they give to the parks.

    We would love to meet you and share all the great things that are happening in your local parks. Be sure to mention your coming to support the CSO and get into park for free!

    Fanning Springs State Park is located at 18020 NW Highway 19, Fanning Springs, FL 32693. For more information, please call (352) 463-3420.

  • Members of the Bridle Brigade to test their metal

    Members of the Bridle Brigade 4-H Club spent Thursday afternoon, July 27, building two robotic fish. The club divided up into two teams with each member taking turns drilling holes and cutting the needed PVC sections for the two robotic sea perches. In the fall, the club will travel to Orlando to compete in a statewide competition. The competition is part of the 4-H State Marine Ecology Event.

    The 2017 Sea Perch Remote Operated Vehicle Mini-challenge will be Nov. 4. The Marine Ecology Event offers opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of the marine and aquatic worlds. To prepare for the event, 4-H leaders and club members go on marine field trips, visit museums and aquariums, have group study sessions, conduct Internet research and develop their own “mock contests.” In the process, youth learn important life skills. 

    Club members will work on the robotic fishes over the next several weeks. The final step is adding the motors. Once completed, an underwater obstacle course will be set up where the club members can hone their robotic fishes’ maneuvering skills for the competition in Orlando. 

  • Members of the Bridle Brigade to test their metal

    Members of the Bridle Brigade 4-H Club spent Thursday afternoon, July 27, building two robotic fish. The club divided up into two teams with each member taking turns drilling holes and cutting the needed PVC sections for the two robotic sea perches. In the fall, the club will travel to Orlando to compete in a statewide competition. The competition is part of the 4-H State Marine Ecology Event.

    The 2017 Sea Perch Remote Operated Vehicle Mini-challenge will be Nov. 4. The Marine Ecology Event offers opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of the marine and aquatic worlds. To prepare for the event, 4-H leaders and club members go on marine field trips, visit museums and aquariums, have group study sessions, conduct Internet research and develop their own “mock contests.” In the process, youth learn important life skills. 

    Club members will work on the robotic fishes over the next several weeks. The final step is adding the motors. Once completed, an underwater obstacle course will be set up where the club members can hone their robotic fishes’ maneuvering skills for the competition in Orlando. 

  • Bronson city elections will be held September 12

    By JOHN TYLER NILSEN, Citizen Correspondent

    Town clerk Pamela Whitehead announced three qualifying candidates for the town council’s open seat during the Aug. 7 council meeting. First District Councilman Aaron Edmundson said he will retire, leaving his seat open. Edith Brown, Robert Partin, and Virginia Phillips are the qualifying applicants. Mayor Bruce Greenlee, fifth district, and Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts, third district, will run unopposed for their re-election bids. The city election will be held on September 12.

    Parks and Recreation director Curtis Stacy announced divisions for fall youth sports. Contact football includes 8U, 10U, and 12U teams. Flag football will be available for ages 7 to 10. Youth soccer will include 6U, 8U 11U teams. Girls’ cheerleading will be available for ages 6 to 12. Stacy announced girls’ volleyball would be added to for fall as well. Signup for all sports will be held Aug. 12 at James H. Cobb park.

    • The date and time for Trunk or Treat activities is Oct. 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

  • June home sales look good

    By DR. EUGENE GIBBINS
    DGL Board of Realtors

    A large white house with black shutters made its way south on NE 80th Avenue Tuesday, Aug. 1, near the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, causing people to make double takes.

    The home was built in 1958 by Linus Sache of Chiefland. Sache was Donna Shipp’s uncle, brother to Shipp’s mother Muzeta Sache Wilkerson. Upon Linus Sache’s death, Wilkerson purchased the home and moved it across a pasture to her 10 acres. When she died, Donna and her husband, Danny, bought the house and moved it to Bronson in January 1990.

    The remodeled house with added porches, the house sat on five acres for 27 years. After acquiring 30 acres in Levyville, and loving the white house, the Shipp’s decided to move their house instead of building another one.