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Local News

  • Panhandling could be costly in Chiefland

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Panhandling within the city limits of Chiefland could end up costing the panhandler money.

    Ordinance 18-02 to prohibit aggressive solicitation was introduced at the March 26 meeting with the first reading winning a unanimous vote by city commissioners. The ordinance is not limited to persons scouring parking lots asking for a financial handout. The ordinance further defines aggressive solicitation as approaching or speaking to a person and solicit, or attempt to solicit, in such manner the person feels an imminent threat. Peddlers of merchandise, offers of employment and donations for charitable groups could be in violation of the proposed ordinance if the panhandler acts aggressively. The ordinance carries a maximum fine of $500 and or imprisonment for violators. The ordinance must pass a second reading April 9 before it is enforceable.

  • Christians celebrate the resurrection

    Christians in Cedar Key celebrated Easter Sunday enjoying God’s creation on the beach on a beautiful morning knowing their lord has risen.

    “Where else would you want to be,” Rev. Susie Horner, pastor of Cedar Key United Methodist Church asked. The imagery water represents in the Bible is vital to the message in the Bible. “Water is renewed life. We’re baptized in water. We are given new life through our baptism in water. It’s a continuous part of our faith walk. Water is just life giving.”

    The never ceasing wave action of the Gulf waters lapping at the shore is a reminder of that continuum of life.

    “We’re baptized in water. You go down unclean and you rise clean and from that moment, you have the promise of eternal life,” she said.

    All four of the churches in Cedar Key participated in the sunrise service: Church of Christ, Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Key Baptist Church and the Methodist Church.

  • CMHS alumni return for busy career day

    Chiefland Middle High School’s career day on March 22 wasn’t exclusive to the school’s alumni, but their impressive representation among the professionals presenting at the event made for a good example for current students.

    Around half of the 31 career representatives – from companies, government organizations and colleges – previously attended the school. Those reps, of course, detailed and demonstrated the work of their fields, but also offered general advice to the future graduates.

    Denny George, of Duke Energy, one of 10 classroom presenters, advised current students to remain open and well-rounded when it comes to their studies, as their minds are likely to change about their career paths before they’re finished with school.

  • Easter Bunny lays 40,000 eggs

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    Forward Church covered the ground at Strickland Park with 40,000 candy-filled plastic Easter eggs Sunday, March 25.

    The annual hunt included many fun things for children to do.

    First responders were present to give children a close up look inside the back of a Levy County Ambulance or inside a Chiefland fire truck. The Levy County Sheriff’s Office brought its airboat and allowed kids to pose for pictures on the boat. A state trooper was also present and Chiefland police officer Kyle Schultz and his K9 partner, Blitz, met boys and girls. Kids posed for pictures with the first responders, talked to them about safety and were given safety pamphlets.

    Children also had the opportunities to play on bouncy houses and to have their faces painted.

    Mini Angels Rescue Petting Zoo also had many animals for children to hold and pet. They had a large tortoise, a small pig, goats, guinea pigs, rabbits and more.

    Shandscaire also landed their helicopter and allowed children and parents to explore the inside of the helicopter.

  • Fire claims Bronson man

    By Lt. Scott Tummond, LCSO PIO

    The Levy County Sheriff’s Office and Levy County Department of Public Safety along with multiple fire units responded March 24 at about 11:15 p.m. to 11830 NE 81 Terrace, in Bronson, to multiple 911 calls about a structure fire.

    Fire and law enforcement officials arrived to find a singlewide mobile home fully engulfed in flames. Witnesses on scene told responding units there was still someone inside the home.

    Felix Shackelford, 79, was unable to escape and succumbed to the fire.

    Witnesses reported Shackelford had been working on a propane space heater earlier in the day and when he lit it, it exploded. Shackelford attempted to extinguish the flames and was trapped inside the home. His wife, Margaret, was able to escape. Their son, Author Carroza, had been working on a vehicle in the yard and had taken the vehicle on a test run when the fire started. He attempted to gain entry into the home after the fire started, but was not able to locate his father inside due to the extreme heat.

  • Haven on care center: ‘That’s the model we want to continue to support.’

    Last November, Haven Hospice closed its on site care center in Chiefland, causing some concern around The community about the institution’s viability in the area.

    But spokespersons for the hospice, which has recently shortened its name to Haven, said they expected it to be a temporary move while the caregiver reconsiders the financial model for keeping open a care facility on campus.

    Haven Chiefland administrator Patrick Allen provided an update to the plans for the center at the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce meeting March 23 at the Haven Hospice Meeting Room, and said the care provider still plans to reopen the care center by the end of the year.

    “We don’t have a date set to reopen, (but) we believe we can reopen it this year,” Allen said. “That’s our goal. We are still struggling with the volumes right now, but we believe with education, we can get it back open.

  • CK Open nabs over $5.5K for Fire Rescue

    The momentum continues to grow for the annual Cedar Key Open Golf Tournament.

    On March 7, the charity event set a new mark for itself in its third edition, raising $5,513 for the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

    In three years, it’s raised $13,139 for local causes. Last year’s funds went toward the Cedar Key Library.

    With 88 competitors and 22 teams, participation also saw an uptick for the Open.

    The event is truly a collaborative effort, both in support and locations. It’s held at the Chiefland Golf and Country Club, and then continues at Big Deck Bar and Grill in Cedar Key, where a low country boil dinner is served courtesy of Ricky Cook. The Big Deck sponsors the CK Open.

    There was a new foursome champion this year in the scramble tournament (teammates play best ball). The team of Milt Gillis, Joe Brinkman, Skipper Henderson and Alden Davis combined to fire a tournament-best 16-under par 56.

  • 2018 Suwannee River Youth Livestock Show results

    Rabbit

    Sponsor: Dr. Bill Martin, Martin Orthodontics

    Superintendent: Dr. T. L. Andrews

    Show Reserve Champion: Hannah Quincey, Chiefland Sr FFA

    Grand Champion: Toby Wood, Helping Hands 4-H

    Dairy Cow

    Sponsors: Superintendent: Sherry Roux

    North Florida Holstein

    Showmanship Primary

    3 Rebekah Ivey, Osceola 4-H

    2 Elizabeth Bagby, Southern Style 4-H

    1 Maddie Smith, Southern Style 4-H

    Showmanship Junior

    3 Jaycee Gunn, Bell Middle FFA

    2 Bertha Sutterfield, Bell Middle FFA

    1 Easton Doughlas, Bell Middle FFA

    Showmanship Senior

    3 Corbin Holder, Bell Sr FFA

    2 Kaylee Douglas, Bell Sr FFA

    1 Austin Bagby, Bell Sr FFA

    Show

    Dairy Heifer Reserve Champion: Maddie Smith, Southern Style 4-H

    Grand Champion: Emma Gurule, Bell Sr FFA

    Dairy Cow Reserve Champion: Elizabeth Bagby, Southern Style 4-H

    Dairy Cow Grand Champion: Austin Bagby, Bell Sr FFA

    Heifer

    Sponsor: Dr. Bill Martin, Martin Orthodontics

  • Residents: Keep Withlacoochee as it is

    By Fred Hiers, Reporter, Citrus County Chronicle

    When weather permits, 78-year-old Jodie Roberts sits on her deck on the Withlacoochee River a mile downstream from the Lake Rousseau dam and watches the water’s flow and enjoys the wildlife. She wants to keep it that way.

    To try and do that she was one of about 20 people who attended the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s kickoff meeting this week that began the process of establishing minimum flows and levels (MFL) for the middle and upper portion of the river.

    “I think it’s important we keep the river like it is,” she said after the water agency’s presentation about the fundamentals of setting MFLs. The meeting was at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Inverness.

    “That’s my concern. If they don’t get the numbers right, the water and the quality will go down,” she said.

    MFLs are important because, once established, the water district uses them to determine whether to grant groundwater or surface water withdrawal permits.

  • Marijuana ordinance bans dispensaries

    The Levy County Commission on March 20 adopted an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas while treating its growing and cultivation like other nurseries.

    The unanimous passing of the ordinance, based on a motion from Mike Joyner and a second from Matt Brooks, came after the second of two public hearings on the matter held at the Courthouse in March.

    The ordinance is consistent with the Board’s earlier proposal, based on one of the recommended options from county attorney Anne Bast Brown. In seeking guidance for the ordinance from the Board, Brown noted that the state’s current direction on the issue provided legal buffering for the banning of dispensaries, but that the county could be at a severe legal disadvantage if it discriminated against medical marijuana nurseries.

    The ordinance, which replaces the moratorium on medical marijuana, treats growers and cultivators of medical marijuana like any other agricultural industry, subject to zoning and land-use regulations.