Today's News

  • Hoops coach discusses life lessons from basketball

    At the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club meeting Nov. 30, guest speaker Buddy Vickers, the first-year head coach of the Chiefland Middle High School girls’ basketball team, was officially there to talk Lady Indian basketball.

    But it was the lessons one gains from basketball and athletics – discipline; learning how to work toward an achievement; losing the right way – that Vickers was really interested in relaying.

    “I’ll talk to you about basketball, but you know basketball in itself is not really that important,” he started. “But I think the things you learn from basketball, or any athletic endeavor, is important.”

    Vickers discussed the coaches who influenced him, including former Trenton and Bronson coach John Rowe.

    “You never know what’s going to influence you,” said Vickers, who was previously a middle school and JV coach at Trenton. “I never expected to be a coach. In fact, I expected to be in front of a judge. Coach Rowe, my dad, my wife, helped keep from getting there.”

  • Courthouse monument case dismissed in favor of County

    The lawsuit filed against Levy County by American Atheists, Inc., claiming a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, was dismissed by in the U.S. District Court in Gainesville.

    The suit stems from the denial by the county of a local atheist group’s application to install a monument at the Levy County Courthouse, claiming it failed to meet guidelines. The county established guidelines in 2009 for the placing of monuments by local citizens and groups at the site.

    In 2010, a granite monument detailing the Ten Commandments, submitted by the Tri-County Pregnancy Center of Williston, was granted permission.

    Levy County, represented by Liberty Counsel, first filed a motion requesting a summary judgement over the summer, seeking a dismissal without trial.

  • Lady Indians to host JV tournament

    Chiefland Middle High School is hosting a junior varsity girls basketball tournament Saturday, Dec. 9, in its gym. The tournament is sponsored by Capital City Bank and there will be a full concession stand. The Lady Indians tip off at 9 a.m. against Newberry to start the tournament, followed by Trenton and Keystone Heights at approximately 10:30 a.m. After a 30 minute break, a consolation game will pit the losers of the first two games against one another to determine third place. The championship game between the winners of games 1 and 2 will conclude the event.

  • Chiefland staves off Lady Sharks in game of contrasting strengths

    A clear pattern emerged in the girls’ basketball game between Chiefland and Cedar Key Nov. 30.

    The Lady Indians established leads in every quarter, only to see the Lady Sharks wipe away, or nearly erase, those advantages.

    CMHS finally solved its district and county rival for good with some clutch shooting at the free throw line, along with a key offensive rebound by junior Courtney Hayes in the final minute, as the Lady Indians secured a 39-31 win at home in its district opener.

    The Lady Sharks, who trailed almost the entire game, but led briefly in the early third quarter after after a Makalynn Bowling layup, trailed just 30-29 past the midway point of the fourth.

    CMHS junior Colby Reed then banked a long 2-pointer to make it 32-29, before eighth-grade point guard J’Mia McNeil, the most inexperienced player on the court, sunk four of her five final free throws for Chiefland to help milk away the game.

    Chiefland finished at 50 percent on 20 foul shot attempts, while CKS converted just four of its 16 attempts (25 percent).

  • Indians’ long ball sinks Sharks in overtime

    In a game filled with ups and downs from both teams, Chiefland, fortunately, finished high in its Nov. 30 overtime bout with Cedar Key.

    Behind a quartet of 3s from sophomore Ty Corbin, the Indians went on an 18-7 run to finish the game and notch a 68-62 win.

    CMHS went into its Dec. 5 game at Dixie County at 1-2 overall and 1-1 in District 1A-7 play. The Sharks were 0-4 at the same point, with two of those losses coming by six points.

    The Sharks overcame an eight-point deficit in seizing a 55-50 lead with a minute to play in the fourth quarter, on the heels of a Michele Dibari layup.

    Offensive rebounds by sophomore Jarrett Jerrels led a Corbin 3 and a Jarrels put-back, which combined to erase the CKS lead and force overtime.

    Corbin wasn’t finished with his long-range work, as he drained a couple more 3s, including one approaching 30 feet, in the extra minutes. Fellow sophomore guard Jalen Rutledge, meanwhile, went 5 for 6 from the foul line in overtime to help matters for Chiefland.

  • Young Chiefland boys’ basketball squad faces stern tests early

    The Chiefland boys’ basketball team is young this year.

    It has just one returning varsity starter to begin the season, and just one senior on the roster.

    But most of the roster has had a least a taste of varsity ball, and the potential depth is impressive, which bodes well for the team eventually running the kind of pressure defense that sixth-year head man Adam Boyd ultimately prefers.

    Boyd says he worked the offensive side of the ball harder early on than usual, anticipating the squad could struggle in that department with a lack of top shooters, and coming off a season when points came at a premium. To improve in that area, the Indians have focused on moving without the ball to put more pressure on defenses, and it appears to have paid off in some early scrimmages.

    “I knew the offense would be a challenge to get everyone in sync, so we spent more time on it than we would’ve in the past,” Boyd said. “Normally, I spend more time on defense at the beginning of the year. But seeing how the summer went, I thought, ‘Well we can’t be a turnover machine.’

  • County recasts qualifications for tourism director job

    Time is running out for the county to fill its soon-to-be-vacant executive position for Levy County Tourist Development.

    In a last-minute bid to net more ideal candidates, the county, behind a recommendation from outgoing director Carol McQueen, is recasting its description of the position to focus more on marketing skills and experience.

    The Commission voted 5-0 Nov. 21 on a motion by Matt Brooks to re-advertise the Tourist Development director job for at least two weeks with the new language. The current candidates will be contacted and asked to reapply under the new job description. The new advertisement wasn’t expected to be posted before Nov. 29.

  • County approves spay, neuter trial program for ‘community cats’

    Levy County Animal Services euthanizes around half of the feral cats that are brought in.

    After department officials recently met with animal rescue groups at a no-kill summit in Gainesville, the county may have a solution that could help tackle the high rate of cat euthanasias.

    With extensive backing from Gainesville Pet Rescue, Alachua County Humane Society and at least one major donor, Animal Services is introducing trial program for free spay and neuters for “community cats,” which are cats that are cared for but don’t necessarily have a home.

    The Board of County Commissioners approved the program unanimously at its meeting Nov. 22.

    The plans for the program were presented to the Board by Darlene Esler, DVM, who was representing Animal Services. She was joined by Chelsea Bower, the associate director of Gainesville Pet Rescue.

  • Asbell assumes chairmanship on School Board; Etheridge picked as vice chairman

    Cameron Asbell was unanimously voted the new chairman of the School Board of Levy County Nov. 28.

    Rick Turner offered the nomination of Asbell.

    “Mr. Superintendent (Jeff Edison),” Turner said, “it is with honor and a great privilege I offer to you in the form of a nomination the most honorable and admirable Cameron Asbell to serve as chair of the Levy County School Board.”

    Asbell, who has served on the Board for eight years, represents Bronson on the Board, and also owns Cameron Asbell Insurance Agency in the town. He is a Bronson High School alumnus.

    Asbell succeed Chris Cowart (Cedar Key) in the position.

    “I can’t live up to it,” Asbell said jokingly of Turner’s nomination. “I want to thank Mr. Turner for that rousing introduction.

    “I also want to thank Mr. Cowart for an excellent job, and I hope I do half as good,” Asbell added. “It’s going to be a fun year. I promise to stay focused; ya’ll work with me.”

  • County extends moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries; seeks ban ordinance

    The Levy County Commission voted unanimously Nov. 21 to extend by three months its moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county.

    The motion for the extended moratorium was offered by Rock Meeks and seconded by Matt Brooks. It passed 5-0.

    The Board also offered a consensus opinion guiding county attorney Anne Bast Brown to craft an ordinance that bans dispensary facilities in unincorporated areas for the long term. Brown requested direction on constructing an ordinance as she advised that passing any further moratoriums would potentially test constitutional grounds.

    Brown put the question before the Board in bifurcated terms, with one part concerning medical marijuana dispensaries, where counties have more discretion, and the other dealing with the cultivation and processing of medical marijuana. She warned that if the county issued an across-the-board ban of the cultivation, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana in Levy County, it would be challenged in court and the county would lose.