Local News

  • Sheriff's Department honors its own

    The Levy County Sheriff’s Department held its annual awards ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Courtroom A of the Levy County Courthouse where it was standing-room only.

    Just before the ceremony started, with everyone waiting in anticipation, an official voice boomed, “All rise!” Catching everyone off guard, many in the gallery automatically stood up, before they realized a judge had not taken the bench. The courtroom erupted in laughter at the good-natured joke. The ceremony followed that light-hearted moment with stories of benevolence, heroism, spirit, valor and fellowship.

    Sheriff Bobby McCallum welcomed everyone to the awards ceremony, followed by Chief Deputy W.O. Brett Beauchamp giving the invocation and Colonel Mike Sheffield leading in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    McCallum welcomed County Court Judge James T. Browning, thanking him for the use of his courtroom and recognized Property Appraiser Oz Barker. McCallum thanked his employees for the great job that they have done throughout 2017 and all the years before that.

  • 'Dramatic' yard sale Saturday

    Do not forget this date: Saturday, Feb. 3, from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

    The CMHS Drama/AP Art History student group is holding a yard sale in front of the high school to raise funds for its Spring Break trip to New York. This educational trip will include visits to the 911 Memorial and Museum, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Empire State Building and a Broadway showing of “The Lion King.”

    The yard sale will have items such as Clay Skeet Throwers, an electric fish knife, furniture, baby items household items and appliances, electronics ranging from gaming systems and games to HDTVs and movies. We also have sports equipment, clothes, and almost everything else under the sun. Sixty-seven individuals will be represented, so there will be something for everyone.

  • Sheriff’s office holds crisis training

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    Levy County Sheriff’s Deputy Grant Sandlin presented free crisis training class covering steps that should be taken when under attack. Approximately 25 people attended the training.

    The training took place at Bronson Middle High School.

    Sandlin began by talking about how humans react to crisis situations by fighting, fleeing, or freezing. He continued by saying how important it was to plan reactions, which consists of three options: running, hiding or fighting.

    “Your response can be just as fluid as the event,” Sandlin said. “In other words, you may need to change your options for reacting as the event unfolds.”

    He then covered some important points about each option.

    If running is the option chosen he instructed the class to plan an escape route, leave belongings behind, evacuate even if others around you freeze and warn others not to enter the area on your way out.

    “Do not attempt to evacuate or treat the wounded, instead tell them to try to stop the bleeding and play dead,” Sandlin said.

  • Slain deputy is memorialized

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A hero from long ago was honored Jan. 25 when a portion of U.S. Highway 19/98 in Otter Creek was named after him.

    The hero’s name was Atticus Haygood Ellzey, who was slain Jan. 28, 1945 in Otter Creek.

    Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum spoke at the dedication ceremony. He was followed by Levy County Commission Chair John Meeks and James Ellzey, grandson of the slain deputy. Nearly all of the remaining Ellzey relatives, from the Levy County area, were present for the ceremony.

    Sheriff McCallum opened the ceremony by sharing the story of Atticus’ bravery that led him to be shot in the line of duty Jan. 28, 1945. The deputy was called to assist at a bar in Otter Creek because of some unruly patrons. Ellzey asked the two men to leave the establishment. They lured Ellzey into the woods off Highway 19 in Otter Creek where they ambushed and shot him. The deputy was able to identify the two men, and they were subsequently sent to prison.

    “Sheriff Ellzey is the only Levy County Sheriff in history to be killed in the line of duty,” MCCallum said.

  • Parker joins local Chamber

    The Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Bennitt Patterson will introduce the business organization’s new executive director at noon Friday during its monthly meeting at the Haven Hospice Community Building.

    Joy Parker received the keys to the Chamber office Thursday, Jan. 11.

    “I’m here to help local businesses in the greater Chiefland area by promoting the ‘Buy Local Campaign’ as well as be involved in the growth of the Chiefland Chamber because a strong Chamber is good for business,” she said.

    She looks forward to having more community involvement and promoting events.

    “I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with the community and businesses in our area,” Parker said.

    Parker is married to Steve and they have two children. Steven graduated in 2016 from CHS and is currently working in the Boilermaker Union. Chelsea is a senior at CHS and is very active in school; she was elected Homecoming Queen and Ms. CHS this school year.

  • Dr. Patterson cuts ribbon on new office

    Dr. Bennitt Patterson cut the ribbon to the new location of Tri County Chiropractic Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 2010 N. Young Blvd., with the help of the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce, patients, and friends.

    This is the 27th year Dr. Patterson has been providing chiropractic care in Chiefland. He began practicing in the city in 1991 by working for Dr. Keith Walburn. He bought the practice from him in January 1993. The business was on Park Avenue until March 3, 1997, when he moved to 2220 N. Young Blvd., north of Winn-Dixie.

    “We were there almost 21 years. We built the building and would have been there 21 years March 3,” he said. “I sold that building to North Florida Pediatrics.”

    He chose the new location because he has always liked the building’s architecture and location. He transformed the drive-thru into two treatment rooms where he and his staff offers massage therapy and a diverse range of chiropractic techniques to give patients the care they need.

  • 'Earth scratching' held at Strawberry Fields for RVer Park

    It was more of an “earth scratching” than a groundbreaking for Strawberry Fields For RVer for the long awaited RV park Monday, Jan. 22, and it was purely symbolic.

    Cynthia Duran held a 4-by-8 foot sign while developer Hal Lyons kneeled in front of it with a garden trowel and gardener’s cultivator and scratched the dirt.

    The property is located at 1403 NE Fourth Street off U.S. Highway 129.

    He said the gardening tools he bought at Ace Hardware was purely symbolic of his commitment to support local merchants and the Chiefland economy in any and every way practically possible.

    “As an acorn may become a magnificent oak, so may Strawberry Fields grow from this modest beginning,” he said.

    When the 57 acres is fully developed, Strawberry Fields For RVers will boast of 432 spots more or less.

    At this point, he expects a three-phase build out with the first phase containing 72 parking spaces.

  • Cedar Key Open set for March 7

    The Third Annual Cedar Key Open Golf Tournament will be held March 7 at Chiefland Golf and Country Club.

    The tournament will be a four-person scramble with registration at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

    A bag lunch will be provided by The Big Deck Bar and Grill. Prizes, donated by local businesses and community members, and a low country boil, compliments of Ricky Cook and The Big Deck, will immediately follow the tournament at the Big Deck on Dock St. in Cedar Key.

    The tournament is to benefit the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire and Rescue and is being sponsored by the Big Deck Bar and Grill.

    The entry fee is $50 per person. The fee covers a round of golf, cart, bag lunch, prizes and dinner. Payment is required at signup. Participants will be limited to the first 20 teams to sign up. Dinner-only is available for $15 per person. Reservations for dinner are required.

    Donations for the event are welcome. and additional advertising donation opportunities are available to businesses and individuals who wish to sponsor a hole with a tee sign.

  • UF forestry has wide impact on industry, natural resources

    The UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) boasts a wide scope of research and services, touching on everything from the hit film Finding Dory, to converting pine chemicals into jet fuel, to working with cutting edge industry applications for drones and electronic mapping.

    The new SFRC director, Dr. “Red” Baker,” paid a visit to the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club in Chiefland just before Christmas to discuss the program’s unique accomplishments and its current projects that continue to shape the future of the industries of forestry and natural resources.

    Baker, who has served in role for nine months, outlined the three main units of the SFRC, which includes its oldest part, the forestry division, as well as the fisheries and aquatic sciences program, a major part of which is operated in Cedar Key, and, thirdly, the geomatics unit. The latter includes remote sensing, satellite imaging, surveying and mapping and drones.

  • Levy County burglary suspect killed at Dunnellon home

    By Julie Gorham
    For the Citizen

    A burglary suspect from Levy County died from gunshot wounds Wednesday after an altercation with family members at a Dunnellon-area home.

    According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were responding to a burglary in process at 4:31 p.m. Wednesday on West Dunklin Street when a male suspect, later identified as Zechariah Tackett, 28, of Levy County, was shot.
    When deputies arrived, they found Tackett lying on his back outside of the residence, and two males identified as Robert Jones Sr., 54, and Robert Jones Jr., 32, both of Citrus County, standing in the driveway.

    Deputies performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Tackett, but he was unresponsive and pronounced dead at 4:51 p.m, the report states.

    Major crimes detectives interviewed Robert Jones Sr., who said after receiving a call from his sister about a possible burglary, he and his son — both carrying weapons — responded to the home and found an unknown male in the living room. He said Tackett was shot during that confrontation, the report states.