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Local News

  • Around the world in 120 days

    A Russian newspaper reported the future had come to its village with the speed of the past. Three months later, that future arrived in Chiefland personified by a German man on a Norwegian electric bicycle.

    Robert Mohr, 41, left Oslo, Norway, May 16 at noon with the hope of riding into the Guinness Book of World Records on a Buddy Bike Model M2. He expects to finish during the Street Life Festival in Munich on Sept. 9-10.

    He got the idea of circumventing the globe because he wanted, “to do something pollution-free in my life. The environment is so polluted and it’s getting worse. This is the way to show that you can travel on electric bikes like this, so you should be able to do this in your hometown.”

    Though he is not a hardcore environmentalist, he became sensibilized to pollution while studying geography for his job as a logistics writer, “But I’m not a Greenpeace member, but I think it’s important to leave this world not like we found it because that’s impossible, but at least so our children and grandchildren can survive.”

  • County seeks bids for Courthouse renovations

    Levy County needs a new courthouse, but the project is too cost-prohibitive at the moment.

    That’s what Paul Silverman, trial court administrator for the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Appeals, found in exploring the courthouse’s infrastructure needs and the options available.

    However, he concluded there are affordable short-term options available to address its pair of most pressing security needs.

    Silverman provided an update to the County Commission on Aug. 22, arguing for a plan to convert a room next to the Clerk of Court’s office into a small courtroom for hearing cases from the Circuit Court in order to alleviate traffic between litigants, judges and others in the hallways between hearing rooms and waiting areas.

    Silverman said there is $1.3 million available in state grant funding to put toward a new courthouse or renovations. In discussing courthouse priorities with various officials, Silverman said there’s a consensus that favors a new courthouse, but opposes spending the $1.3 million on renovations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.”