Local News

  • Hundreds of CES students, parents meet their teachers

    It’s held during work hours, but you wouldn’t know it from the impressive turnout it garners.

    Chiefland Elementary School held its annual Meet the Teacher event Wednesday, the day before school started, and it was another hit.

    Hundreds of students and parents flooded the hallways to find their classrooms and meet their teachers.

    It’s also a chance for students to meet some classmates and in some cases engage in some activities in the classroom.

    Meanwhile, parents get to discuss details about class supplies and expectations as well as sign up for volunteering sessions and other support opportunities.

    The event was held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., so there’s time for teachers to give one-on-one attention to parents and students.

    There was already a large group of parents and students forming outside the school by 1 p.m.

    In the lobby outside by the entrance, the school had its greeting case redecorated to read, in the form of an acronym for W.E.L.C.O.M.E., “When you Enter this Loving school, Consider yourself One of the special Member of an Extraordinary tribe.”

  • FDOT to add sidewalk, pave Picnic Street

    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.

  • City OKs RV site plan

    Chiefland City commissioners unanimously approved the final site plan for Strawberry Fields for Rvers Monday, Aug 14. The plan was recommended for approval 30 minutes earlier by city commissioners setting on the planning commission. They met in that capacity at 5:30 p.m.

    Members present for both meetings were Rollin Hudson, Mayor Betty Walker, Donald Lawrence and Chris Jones. Commissioner Teresa Barron was absent.

    The city received the first RV Park conceptual site plan for review on Feb. 24 and the preliminary on June 1. After meetings between city planning staff, Mr. Lyons and his engineer, Henry Vorpe Jr., with AVA Engineers of Jacksonville, the final site plan changes were approved pending approval of Suwannee River Water Management District. There is one outstanding comment regarding the drainage on the RV park property that will be addressed by the water district.

  • Education, economic development pin hopes on new campus

     Education and economic development proponents are pinning their hopes on the College of Central Florida after it opened the Jack Wilkinson Campus Friday, Aug. 11.

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    School Board of Levy County member Chris Cowart and Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Watson were optimistic the impact the school will have. 

    Watson said, “This is our toe in the door. This is where we hope to move forward from. This is our milestone.”

  • Three students, three paths forward

     Three students with widely varying backgrounds, circumstances and educational goals  were singled out Aug. 11 for their commitment to education during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus.
    Randi Williams, 17, graduated from Chiefland High School in May. Brittany Holder, 24, a single mother of two, earned a GED in 2013 at the old Levy Center and Dilan Jones, 19, graduated from Chiefland High School in 2016, finishing third in his class.

    Williams wants to earn an associate degree in Humanities before she starts traveling and volunteering in lesser developed countries in South America that need help. 

  • 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.

  • Drug bust in Williston

     The Levy County Drug Task Force executed a drug search warrant at 16151 NE 50 Street in Williston Thursday, Aug.  3, at 5 p.m. In April, DTF investigators received an anonymous tip and began their investigation of drug related activities. Based upon this tip, investigators learned that Chad Williams (4-24-75) was selling cocaine and marijuana from his home at this address. DTF investigators secured a search warrant for the home and upon execution of the warrant found Williams home with his wife, Toinette Williams (3-20-71), where they discovered cocaine and marijuana inside. 

  • Crossing guard watches over kiddies and kitties

     Crossing guard Mary Anne Griner watches over kiddies and kitties to ensure their safety. She helps the children across the street and sometimes she takes the cats home.
    Griner said she walked a couple of students across the street a little after she arrived on post at North Young and Fourth Avenue at about 7:15 in the morning where she guards the crosswalks for two hours in the morning and again in the afternoon when school lets out.

    A little gray kitten tried to cross the street but Griner picked it up to keep it from getting ran over. She pet it before putting it back down on the ground. It rubbed against her foot and walked between her feet.

    She named the little gray cat, “Smokey.” She said she would take it to the police station to see if they wanted it. If not, she said she would probably take it home. Friday morning, when asked what happened to the kitten, she said she took it home. 

  • Third arrest made in home invasion homicide


    LCSO Media Relations


    The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division made a third arrest Aug. 11 in connection to the home invasion homicide in Williston Friday, Aug. 4. Investigators learned Steven Demar Stacy (7-12-83), of Williston, aided Jalen Days and Andrew Robinson in disposing of the weapons used in the crime to include the murder weapon. Mr. Stacy aided the defendants in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. To date the firearms have not been recovered.

    Investigators are actively working this investigation and still need the publics’ help. Many questions are still unanswered and the community could provide much needed information. Any person who has information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 352-486-5111.