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Local News

  • 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.

  • New worlds for sale

    Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library is having a book sale Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Octagon Building behind Chiefland Fire Rescue. Hardback covers are priced to sell at 50 cents each and paperbacks for a quarter.

    Some of the thousands of titles are library books that have not been checked out for a while, but most are donations. They will be organized on tables in categories of fiction and nonfiction.

    Books are always on sale inside the library, but Friends President Ann Brown said Thursday, Jan. 11, during the organization’s monthly meeting that the nonprofit organization is having the book sale to raise money to replace the carpet in the building. Instead of laying carpet rolls, they want carpet squares that will be cheaper in the long run though the upfront cost is about $10,000. Although the library is part of the county system and the building is owned by the city of Chiefland, the friends group helps support programs and other needs not funded through the county system or by the city.

  • Anderson: phone system is going to break

    Chiefland fire and police chiefs made their presentations to the city commission at the regular meeting Jan. 8. Chief James Harris said Chiefland Fire Rescue responded to 1,672 incidents in 2017 while Chief Scott Anderson warned the governing body that the phone system is about to crash.

    Harris said 827 responses were inside the city and 681 were in the county. CFR responded to 78 incidents where other agencies did not respond. CFR went to Bronson on 12 occasions and on three of those trips, CFR was the only agency to respond; Fowlers Bluff did not respond 26 times. CFR aided Fanning Springs 23 times, but Fanning Springs did not respond 36 times. CFR had 35 calls in Otter Creek and aided Rosewood four times, but Rosewood did not respond on five occasions; aided Trenton twice and Cedar Key four times.

  • Bronson celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    MLK Day in Bronson was a day filled of fun and games. Participants in the egg race (Page 4A) made their way down Main Street in Bronson with their heads up. The street was closed to traffic and vendors set up tables up and down the street. Free hot dogs and sodas were in abundance along with various other food delicacies.