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Local News

  • CES campus named after pioneering Levy family

    The Chiefland Elementary School campus has a new name to honor a pioneering family of Chiefland, one that’s been integral to Levy County education.

    The School Board of Levy County voted 5-0 at a public hearing Oct. 10 to establish the Etter and Helen Hiers Usher Campus, in tribute to the late Etter Usher and Helen Hiers Usher.

    Superintendent Jeff Edison said the name was proposed by citizens, eventually leading to a School Advisory Council (SAC) meeting where community members, school officials, educators and parents discussed the contributions of the late couple. Etter died in 2015, and Helen passed in 2016.

    “Those that were new to the area (at the SAC meeting) were thrilled to learn the history (behind the Ushers), about their donation of the land for Chiefland Elementary,” said Paige Brookins, who represents Chiefland on the School Board. “(SAC attendees) were thrilled to name (the campus) after Mr. Etter and Ms. Helen.”

    Brookins said family members of the Ushers, including daughters Lynetta Usher Griner and Karen Usher White, were notably touched by the suggestion.

  • Crowning achievement

    A spirited week of homecoming week festivities – built around the theme of “Around the World” – culminated Friday Oct. 13 in Chiefland, as Chelsea Parker was crowned the 2017 Chiefland Middle High School Homecoming Queen during halftime of the football game.

    Upon the announcement, Parker embraced her father, Steve Parker, who escorted Chelsea and beamed with a tearful smile when his daughter’s name was called.

    Moments before, Haitrieu Nguyen was announced the 2017 CMHS Princess. Nguyen was escorted by her father, Mike Nguyen.

    Fellow Queen contestants included: Maclay Agnoli, who was escorted by her father Joe Agnoli; Tenlee Beauchamp, escorted by her father Jim Beauchamp; Erika Gilliam, escorted by her “Papa,” William Geiger Sr.; Maria Enriquez-Gomez, escorted by her mother Rosy; Jommielle Quiambao, escorted by her father Danilo Quiambao; and Alexis Seyez, escorted by her father Freddie Seyez.

  • The math of quilting

    The Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Levy County Quilt Museum. Just as we were beginning to start on our projects, the electricity went off. We were hoping that meant the electricity was being added to the new RV Park on CR 120 behind Walmart. To us, RVers means quilters, which means new friends.

    Janie brought in several items like pencils and a protractor that we may need when we start working on templates for the Mohawk trail. Betcha didn’t know protractors were used in quilting. Quilting involves a lot of math especially if you’re creating your design or quilting pattern.

    Derick and the guys from Lancaster were out this week. They hadn’t been out for some time so they were busy with the yard and straighten up the porch. It was all Ailien and I could do to move the picnic tables to get ready for Hurricane Irma so we waited for the guys to return to get the porch back in order. There was no way we could lift the tables, it was all we could do to push/pull the tables where we wanted them to go. Thanks guys getting the yard and porch looking so nice.

  • Channel, Drew lecture on climate change

    Retired Dr. James E. T. Channel, U.F. Department of Geological Sciences and UF/IFAS Levy County Extension Agent Anthony Drew gave a  climate change presentation to 47 people Sept. 22 at the Levy Levy County Agricultural Extension Service office in Bronson.

    Channel presented the facts of climate change that are supported by documented geological evidence. The potential impact on agriculture and horticulture, in general, was discussed.

    Levy County Extension Agent Anthony Drew asked the audience how many have planted dogwood trees recently and how were those trees doing?

    The overwhelming response seemed to be that the trees are not doing well.

    According to Drew, the warmer temperatures in the atmosphere are to blame. It seems the trees are falling victim to global warming.

    Drew gave examples of what he called “anomalies” being witnessed in the plant kingdom. He then went on to introduce Dr. James E. Channell, his friend of several years.

    They met at a dinner party, and while the wives discussed tile colors the men started talking about their careers.

  • Former world-class sprinter coming to Chiefland

    The Suwannee Valley Rotary Club is hosting former world-class sprinter and motivational speaker Almon Gunter for a special program scheduled for noon Oct. 26 at the Haven Hospice Community Center. Gunter will share how he is working with Chiefland Middle/High School to build Indian Pride. Gunter uses his experiences and success on the track to help others reach their maximum velocity performance in the game of life. The cost is $10 per person, including lunch catered by Beef O’Brady’s.

    Almon Gunter is CEO and president of Almon Gunter Motivates Inc. He is a highly acclaimed motivational, inspirational public speaker, author, and consultant, as well as a former world-class sprinter in track. He is the author of three books: “Focus on the Final Seconds and Win the Game of Life,” a how-to book on achieving both mental and physical fitness success in life; “Focus To Win” analyzes personal traits needed to build a strong foundation for success and “The Essence of Teamwork” outlines the eight principles of a winning team. 

  • Bank teller arrested for grand theft

    Rachel Lynn Mobley was arrested Sept. 19 for grand theft of more than $5,000 and less than $10,000 after allegedly embezzling money from her cash drawer at Sun State Federal Credit Union where she was employed as a teller.

    In an incident report filed by Chiefland Police Officer Kyle Schultz, branch manager Carole Tucker stated that Mobley had been audited several times throughout the month and found a shortage of about $7,300 missing.

    According to the report, Tucker and other corporate leaders confronted Mobley and she confessed to systematically taking cash from her drawer for several months.

    Schultz stated that he read Mobley her rights, which she waived, and stated she had been taking money since August because she was having financial difficulties.

    Schultz stated Mobley was transported to the Levy County Detention Facility without incident.

  • Taste of the Nature Coast raises funds for Resource Center

    The first-ever Taste of the Nature Coast fundraiser hosted by Tri-County Community Resources combined good food for a good cause with a strong dose of community spirit.

    Diana Child, chair of Tri-County Community Resources, who led the organization of the event, called the event a success, with hopes of expanding the event in the future. It was held at the Haven Hospice Community Building in Chiefland.

    All proceeds go toward the Tri-County Community Resource Center in Chiefland. The food and prizes were donated at no costs.

    Six Tri-County food vendors competed for the Taste of Nature Coast’s Best Appetizer, Best Main Course and Best Dessert, as voted by attendees.

    The attendees also scored various donated drawing prizes.

    Chef Laura Fowler Goss, Branford food designer, collected the Dessert and Appetizer awards, while Cedar Key’s 83° West won for Best Main Course for its Shrimp and Grits dish. The Appetizer competition was particularly tight; Goss shared her trophy with second-place finisher Bell’s Catering, of Chiefland.

  • Chiefland Commission recognizes students of the month

    Arianah Boyd, Jarrett Darus and Nathalie Solatorio were recognized by members of the Chiefland City Commission as Students of the Month for September — the first such recognition for the 2017-18 school year.

    Chiefland Elementary School nominated by fifth-grader Arianah Boyd, daughter of Angela and Anthony Boyd. Her teacher, Celeste Green, said Arianah is a very organized fifth grader.

    “I made her my 'classroom manager’ the first week of school. She is a great role model for her peers. She is kind, respectful and extremely responsible,” Green said.

    Jarrett Darus was selected from Chiefland Middle High School. He is the son of Tommy and Heather Darus. The seventh-grader was nominated by all the seventh-grade teachers.

  • 2 men rescued from Gulf waters

    By Buster Thompson

    Being stranded in a boat on the Gulf of Mexico for 12 hours will be a fishing trip Charles Scott won’t soon forget.

    Scott and his brother-in-law Jerry Newsome, both in their late 60s, went out the morning of Sept. 29 to go grouper fishing, Scott said Tuesday.

    The Marion County residents launched Newsome’s boat from a ramp near Yankeetown in Levy County, pushing their 17’ Starcraft vessel 27 miles out into the Gulf.

    Several hours into their day, Scott and Newsome realized at about 2 p.m. they forgot to put oil in the boat, which would not start, marooning the pair without any way to contact their loved ones.

    “So we just sort of sat their,” Scott said about how him and Newsome anchored their boat.

    Scott’s wife, Wanda, said she expected her husband to call around 3 p.m. to say he was returning home. She never got that call.

    “I didn’t get anything and I was a little bit concerned,” Wanda Scott said. “The first two hours I was so frantic.”

  • Major traffic causes minor problems

    Chiefland Police Sgt. Fronz Macy responded to NE First Street and North Young Boulevard Sept. 7 at about 1 p.m. concerning a two-vehicle crash, one of which was a police patrol car.

    Upon arrival, Macy spoke with the officer driving Vehicle 1, who stated he was at the stop sign. He was attempting to get to the intersection of North Main Street and North Young Boulevard to assist with traffic control. He activated his emergency lights, checked all mirrors and looked to make sure there was not a vehicle present. He then proceeded to back up, not seeing the Toyota pickup due to its height and backed into the front of it.

    The driver of Vehicle 2 stated he was going to use his horn, but then thought he could get out of the way by backing up as well.

    He stated that he did not see the emergency lights activated.

    — Officer Willie Barnes responded to Murphy’s Express Sept. 10 at about 7 a.m. after motorhome bumped up against a fuel pump.