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Local News

  • NAPA donation to aid ForVets' Camp Valor Project

    NAPA Auto Parts of Chiefland donated $500 for sponsorship of the Otter Springs Car Show benefiting veterans through the Camp Valor Project at Otter Springs Park and Campground. Pictured, from left are: NAPA team members Dennis, Tom Jr., Ben and Tom; Lee from ForVets and Nate Albano, event coordinator of Otter Springs Car Show. The upcoming Car Show will be held Nov. 11, Veterans Day at the Otter Springs Swap Meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     

  • Former world-class sprinter imparts character lessons on Levy students

    Almon Gunter is old school.

    The charismatic motivational speaker and author is describing his bedrock principles and what he believes it’ll take to ensure the current generation of students are successful in the future as guest speaker at a special program hosted by the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club Oct. 26 at the Haven Hospice Community Center.

    When he reaches for a summation of his own outlook, he continually returns to those two words – “old school.”

    For Gunter, the phrase signifies values like respect and responsibility, and manners and kindness.

    He makes the trip to Levy County every Monday from his hometown of Jacksonville to mentor Levy middle high school students in Bronson, Chiefland and Williston who are in the new campus Focus Centers, which isolate students with behavioral problems or who are behind on credits, providing them with more precise tools for improving their standing. Students from the CMHS focus center attended the event.

  • Nash family is ‘Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year’

    John and Allison Nash, owners of Osceola Pines, were recently named the 2017 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year at the Florida Forestry Association annual meeting in Sandestin. 

    John, Allison and their two daughters, Ann Lynne and Virginia Lee were all present to receive the award Aug. 31. They provided a tour of their property Friday, Oct. 20. The tour was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.

    The Nashes purchased the partially clear-cut timber farm in 2002 because he wanted a place to hunt turkeys. The property has a hardwood drain running through the middle and turkeys like to roost over water. The only reason he could buy the land was because it was clear cut, which brought the value way down.

    “It’s a bigger piece of property than I would ever expect to buy, but once they clear cut it, the value goes down pretty substantially because you have to go back in and spend about $250 an acre in replanting cost and then you have to wait 15 years,” he said.

    The family camped in tents for the first year and just to get the girls interested in coming to the property, he resorted to bribing them with a horse.

  • City to post public property

    The Chiefland City Commission held three meetings Monday evening as the Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment.

    The Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of Ordinance 17-06 that would clearly state the closing hours of city-owned property. Commissioner Teresa Barron wanted to make it clear that persons in violation of the ordinance cannot be arrested on the first offense for trespassing. However, the ordinance does give the police probable cause to stop and question anyone on the property during the posted closing time.

    CPD Chief Scott Anderson said, “If they are on city property (during posted hours), then my officers can have probable cause to approach someone and go from there.”

    He said the department can take care of the state-owned walking trail by patrol, and they patrol the schools after hours when no one is expected to be on school property.

  • Beast Feast raises funds for Levy County Schools Foundation

    Saturday was a spectacular evening for the Levy County Schools Foundation complete with a gorgeous sunset, temperatures in the 70s, a cool breeze and almost zero humidity, the weather could not have been more perfect.

    That was the setting for the school foundation’s 8th Annual Beast Feast in Williston. Etheridge Produce donated the use of their facility and V.E. Whitehurst and Sons Inc., supplied the lighting for the parking lots. With so many people in Levy County coming together to support the foundation, this year’s feast saw the largest gifts of donations. With over 300 people in attendance, the event netted $19,673, up $4,025 from $15,648 in 2016.

    The foundation stages fundraisers throughout the year with the Stars Gala in February, Evening of Excellence in the Spring, Stuff the Bus each August and the Beast Feast in the fall. Classroom grants, grants for great ideas and the Student Scholarship Program are funded through the Foundation and its supporters.

  • CES students pick their favorite biomes

    The second-grade classes at Chiefland Elementary School completed a week-long study on the desert and rain forest. Students had the option for an extra credit project of a diorama of the rain forest or a desert. They also wrote an opinion paper on which place they would like to visit and why based on the books read and videos watched during the week.

  • CES students learn about forestry

    Usher Land and Timber, along with the Florida Forestry Service, sent three foresters to speak to fourth graders about Forestry Week. The students learned the importance of trees and their many uses. The foresters were Joe McKenzie Sr., Florida Forestry Service; Sean Gilbert, UF intern; and Eric Handley, forester, both with Usher Land and Timber.

  • Tommy Usher Log A Load For Kids surpasses $1 million

    The organizers behind the Tommy Usher Log A Load for Kids Golf Classic celebrated a landmark achievement for the annual charity event Oct. 20.

    In its 23rd year, the Classic, which generates proceeds for the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, surpassed $1 million in funds raised.

    It’s held at the Chiefland Golf and Country Club.

    The Log A Load For Kids fundraising campaign partners loggers and other members of the forest industry to raise money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The network has raised more than $48 million dollars in nearly three decades.

    The Chiefland version is named after the late Tommy Usher, brother of Lynetta Usher Griner. Griner has been the leading organizer of the Tommy Usher Log A Load Golf Classic for all 23 years. Usher was the youngest member of the Florida Forestry Association when he passed in 1989.

    The Chiefland Classic needed around $20,000 to surpass its magic number, and collected more than $54,000.

  • County looks to extend moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

    The Levy Board of County Commissioners is seeking to extend its moratorium on marijuana dispensaries until April.

    But first it must hold a couple of public hearings in November before the new ordinance can pass.

    Commissioner Lilly Rooks casted a dissenting vote at the commission meeting Oct. 17 to guarantee one of those hearings – Nov. 7 – will take place at 5:01 p.m., while the other will come on Nov. 21, coinciding with the regular commission meeting, which starts at 9 a.m.

    A majority-plus-one margin was required to hold both hearings during regular hours (before 5 p.m.). With Commission Mike Joyner absent from the meeting, a 4-0 vote was required.

    “I think it’s fair to the public, so they know what we’re trying to do, that we have it after 5,” Rooks said.

    In addition to the public hearings, the Planning Commission must approve the extended moratorium at its meeting on Nov. 6.

    The Commission tabled a related agenda item requesting direction on the issue for County Attorney Ann Bast Brown, rescheduling it for the meeting on Nov. 21.

  • Suncoast Credit Union awarded Business of the Year

    Hurricane Irma may have forced a detour for the 34th Annual Industry Appreciation Banquet, hosted by the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce.

    But there was no doubt over the deserving recipient to the Banquet’s feature award.

    On Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the rescheduled event, hosted by Chamber president Ryan Watson, Suncoast Credit Union was officially honored as 2017 Business of the Year at the Haven Hospice Community Center.

    The annual award goes to a business that shows outstanding service for the community.

    It’s inspired by Florida’s Industry Appreciation Week, which was founded by former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham in 1983. The occasion of Industry Appreciation Week is “intended to call attention to contributions businesses make to the economy, our communities and our quality of life,” Watson noted in his introduction to the award.

    “Chiefland and Levy County’s future depend on the continued health and growth of our local businesses,” Watson continued.