.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Local News

  • Black History events set

    Celebrate Black History Month Feb. 16 at the Levy County Courthouse and Feb. 24 at the Tommy Usher Pineland Center.

    The event at the courthouse will feature a photographic exhibit of nine people who contributed to Levy County history and their contributions to the county. Nine people will be honored this year.

    They are: Clyde Bowers, Joe Jenkins, Katrina Cohens, Larthay Richardson, Frank Edmondson, Ida Bell Phillips, Dwayne Williams, Tucker Williams and Lashae Smith.

    Clyde Bowers from Chiefland. He was born on January 5, 1918. Mr. Bowers worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for 32 years. He married Susie Bowers and had 11 children.

    Joe Jenkins from Chiefland, Florida was born on December 25, 1906 he worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for 25 years; he also worked at Bett’s Big T in Chiefland. Mr. Jenkins attended night school under Mr. Reggie Williams. He married Louise Jenkins and had one daughter, Mary Joe Jenkins. In addition to their daughter, the couple raised Lucey Freeman, Katie Catherine Brown, Richard Long, and William Spaight.

  • Five years later, family is mired in red tape, sewage

    Roberto and Debby Tarafa moved to their home in Levy County in 2004 and began noticing wet spots in the lawn as soon as they began mowing the grass. The mower left ruts, but the couple said they could never see the water.

    “It was below the surface, but that was it,” Roberto [Bo] said. “We knew we had an issue, we just weren’t sure what it was.”

    “No toilets backed up — nothing to make us think — and nothing was running anywhere, in the street or anywhere at that time,” Debby said. “It was just wet and mushy in the middle.”

    Their neighbors were all snowbirds at the time, so there was no one to ask. There was an old man who lived across the street. He has since died, but Debby used to ask him why it was so wet? He just responded with a smile, Debby said.

  • Volunteers, citizen supporters help power local parks

    The Chiefland Chamber of Commerce meeting Jan. 26 boasted an exceptional turnout, thanks to all of the volunteers and supporters for the local parks in attendance.

    With Manatee Springs State Park as the meeting co-sponsor, guest speaker Mark Abrizenski, the park manager for Manatee Springs and Fanning Springs State Park and the Nature Coast State Trail (NCST), took the opportunity to highlight the contributions of park volunteers and the Friends of Manatee Springs, Inc. And to illustrate that level of support, he invited those individuals – and the park rangers – whose work is so critical to the parks’ functioning.

    The Gathering Table co-sponsored the meeting and catered lunch.

    It was the first meeting with new Chamber president Dr. Bennitt Patterson at the helm, as well as the first with new executive director Joy Parker. More than 50 attendees filled the room at the Haven Hospice Community Center.

    Patterson announced the annual Citizen of the Year banquet, normally held in February, has been pushed back to April 21, adding that he hopes to build up the banquet attendance to past heights.

  • Full slate of constitutional proposals in pipeline

    The Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), a group of 37 delegates charged with examining the Florida Constitution and filing amendment recommendations to go before voters this November, is only on its third edition in state history.

    The first CRC came in 1977-1978, and there has only been once since, in 1997-1998, as the Commission operates once every 20 years.

    But this cycle is figuring to be the most significant yet, as the Commission is currently weighing 103 amendment proposals.

    Stephanie Marchman, senior assistant attorney for the City of Gainesville, and representative for the Eighth Judicial Circuit to the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, paid a visit to the meeting of the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club Jan. 11 to discuss the Florida Constitution and the CRC.

    Before addressing the CRC’s current business, she outlined the function of the Florida Constitution, noting its role in defining the structure of the state government and citizens’ state rights.

  • Whitehurst takes over as tourism director

    After recasting its advertisement for a new tourism director, with more of an emphasis on marketing, the county turned inward to find the candidate it was looking for.

    Tisha Whitehurst, the current grants coordinator for Levy County, was warmly welcomed at the County Commission meeting Jan. 23 as the new director of tourism. Whitehurst will remain the grants coordinator.

    “We’re just piling on, don’t worry about the mule or the wagon,” Commission chairman John Meeks said jokingly at the meeting of Whitehurst wearing multiple hats.

    The jobs are far from unrelated, however.

    As grants coordinator, Whitehurst also coordinated the county’s interests with regards to the RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012), a federal law that directs fines from BP and others responsible for the Gulf oil spill disaster of 2010 toward improving the ecosystems and economies of the Gulf communities.

  • County Commissioners quiz FDOT on trouble spots

    The Board of Levy County Commissioners argue that the county’s unique traffic patterns might be preventing the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) from properly measuring its worst traffic hazards along state highways.

    At the County Commission meeting Jan. 23, they voiced those concerns to Jeff Scott, the District Safety Program Engineer for the FDOT, who reported on recommendations from safety reviews concerning four potentially problem roadways along state roads in the county.

    The study process for each location, which were requested by the county, included collecting crash report data, conducting a field review by an engineer, providing a crash analysis and concluding with recommendations. The crash data was from 2012 to 2016.

    The two main areas of concern for the Commission in the report included: 1) the stretch of State Road 24 in front of the Bronson Speedway, extending to Andee Road, and 2) the intersections of State Road 45 (US 41) and County Roads 326 and 323 in Morriston.

  • Citizen of the Year wanted

    The Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking the names of people who made extraordinary effort in good citizenship in 2017. These are people who have changed things for the better, who perhaps are examples of selfless volunteer service.

    This special citizen may display a broad range of contribution and achievement or be an individual unsurpassed in commitment to provide for a particular cause. Considerations may include:

    Significant contribution to the well-being of the community through personal service; personal effort that has made a lasting, noteworthy, and positive difference; perception as a role model for good citizenship and volunteerism; inspiring personal attributes, such as versatility, perseverance, devotion, and diplomacy; contributions above and beyond those expected; sustained dedication to a cause or effort, or to community service; an exceptional or extraordinary history of achievement in local philanthropic endeavors; courage in overcoming extreme adversity; a selfless act of bravery or generosity or performing service without expectation of compensation or recognition.

  • 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.