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Local News

  • Levy ARC 'Rides to Provide'

    A small number of riders in the “Ride to Provide” did not diminish their enthusiasm for the need to provide services to 30 Levy County citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    The 60-mile motorcycle ride along back roads attracted 10 riders, which was down by two-thirds from the 30 riders that usually take an hour or so from one Saturday morning a year.

    The ride began in Otter Creek and ended at Gulf Hammock, the site of the “Wild Hog Race,” which is LARC’s primary fundraiser, where the family of Keith Maynard delighted children with a mechanical bull, zip line and an inflated bounce house and slide.

    Despite low participation, the event still raised about $4,000 in addition to $21,000 raised by the “Wild Hog Race.”

    LARC Executive Director Betty Walker attributed to poor turnout to the high number of Halloween-related activities held Saturday, Oct. 28, and possibly some lingering effects of Hurricane Irma.

    “There are too many other things going on today,” she said. “We may look at moving it back to September like it was.”

  • Lone Cabbage Key restoration planned

    By Rebecca Gallagher
    Beacon Correspondent

    UF/IFAS held a forum Oct. 26 to discuss a project to restore an oyster reef known as Lone Cabbage Key. The project is a collaborative effort with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the University of Florida.

    Dr. Bill Pine started the forum by explaining why the project is needed. He showed historical aerial photographs of Lone Cabbage Key in the 1800’s and now. The degradation of the reef was astonishing. Pine said that in the last 30 years the offshore, near shore and inshore reefs had decreased in size by 88 percent, 61 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

  • 'Cars 3' showing at libraries

    Please join us for a fun family movie at a local Levy County Public Library. All events are free and everyone young and old is invited to attend. Mark your calendars for the 2017 Disney movie “Cars 3” when Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he's still the best race car in the world.

    The movie is rated G and has a running time of 102 minutes. Please contact the local library for more information.

    The movie schedule is:
    Luther Callaway Public Library, Chiefland, Wednesday, Nov 15, at 5 p.m.
    A.F. Knotts Public Library, Yankeetown, Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m.
    Bronson Public Library, Monday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m.
    Cedar Key Public Library, Tuesday, Nov 28, at 4:30 p.m.
    Williston Public Library, Wednesday, Nov 29, at 5 p.m.
     

  • Suncoast Credit Union gives to Levy County Schools Foundation

    Lewrissa Mainwaring, of Suncoast Credit Union in Chiefland, a Paragon Sponsor for the Levy Schools Foundation, presents a donation check of $12,500 to the Foundation Oct. 24 at the meeting of the School Board of Levy County. The funds will go to various school and student-related projects such as Classroom Grants, Grants for Great Ideas and The Literacy Project. The Foundation appreciates the support of such donations and thanked Suncoast Credit Union for the donation.

  • Levy officials, animal advocates discuss no-kill objectives at annual summit

    By Fred Allen
    FloridaNoKill@aol.com

    More than 20 Levy County animal rescuers and activists met with Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks and Animal Services Director David Weatherford during a break in the day-long 2017 North Central Florida Animal Welfare Summit Oct. 27 in Gainesville.

    The event was hosted by the Alachua County Humane Society. There were over 40 attendees representing Alachua, Levy, Marion, Suwannee and Columbia counties. The speakers included Dr. Julie Levy, a nationally-renowned researcher and University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Professor, and Ed Williams, director of Alachua County Animal Services.

    The event agenda included reviewing the status of objectives set at last year’s summit, Strategic Discussions and Action Planning for the purpose of reducing euthanasia deaths of healthy and treatable cats and dogs in the region’s municipal shelters.

  • 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.