Today's News

  • Levy Emergency Director completes FEMA course

    Levy County Emergency Management Director John MacDonald graduated the FEMA National Emergency Management Advanced Academy Aug. 18 after completing 160 hours of course study. The academy is one of the most demanding programs FEMA offers and includes "Best Practices" in leadership, preparedness and response to disasters.

    The National Emergency Management Advanced Academy reinforces qualities needed to lead emergency management programs, provides relevant management theories and concepts, and utilizes appropriate case studies. Advanced Academy participants worked within a collaborative environment on projects and established a network of peers.

    The academy is designed for emergency management mid-level managers with a minimum of three years-experience in an emergency management position. Students learn skills critical to performing their responsibilities, such as: program management and oversight, effective communication at all levels, integrated collaboration and strategic thinking, along with completing a research project one month prior to attending the final course.

  • Chiefland football welcomes Bucs

    Branford Buccaneers (0-1) at Chiefland Indians (0-1), Friday, Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.

    This one wasn’t pretty last year.

    Branford was in town as Chiefland’s homecoming opponent, and the pair locked heads in a phone booth for four quarters only to look up at a 0-0 tie on the scoreboard at the end of regulation.

    Senior Lonnie Hinote punched in the winning score in overtime to lift the Indians to a 6-0 win.

    Friday marks the second of three straight home games in Chiefland to open the season.

    CMHS hopes to avoid such a defensive slugfest this year, as it’s found success with big passing plays this young season. Four turnovers helped put Chiefland in a 28-0 hole against Trenton in the opener, before it found a spark behind a couple of long passes to junior Kirk Williams and a trick play on fourth down that sprung quarterback Wyatt Hammond for a receiving touchdown.

    Branford is coming off a 48-8 season-opening loss to Seven Rivers Christian, a Class 2A offensive powerhouse from Lecanto that’s reeled off three consecutive eight-win seasons under Ray Greene.

  • Gulf Hammock community seeks to reestablish original boundary, identity

    The citizens of the Gulf Hammock area, located around 17 miles southwest of Chiefland along U.S. Highway 19, want their official identity back.

    With the blessing of an endorsement letter from the county, which was won unanimously at the Levy County Commission meeting on Aug. 22, the people of Gulf Hammock appear to be inching toward one of their major goals, which is the re-establishment of an original boundary and zip code to reflect Gulf Hammock.

    The prelude to that endorsement was a July meeting in Gulf Hammock between area residents and county officials. They discussed complaints over emergency response times to the area as well as regaining their postal community status as Gulf Hammock.

  • County seeks bids for Courthouse renovations

    Levy County needs a new courthouse, but the project is too cost-prohibitive at the moment.

    That’s what Paul Silverman, trial court administrator for the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Appeals, found in exploring the courthouse’s infrastructure needs and the options available.

    However, he concluded there are affordable short-term options available to address its pair of most pressing security needs.

    Silverman provided an update to the County Commission on Aug. 22, arguing for a plan to convert a room next to the Clerk of Court’s office into a small courtroom for hearing cases from the Circuit Court in order to alleviate traffic between litigants, judges and others in the hallways between hearing rooms and waiting areas.

    Silverman said there is $1.3 million available in state grant funding to put toward a new courthouse or renovations. In discussing courthouse priorities with various officials, Silverman said there’s a consensus that favors a new courthouse, but opposes spending the $1.3 million on renovations.

  • Rivalry clash ushers in new football season

    Chiefland head coach Adam Gore says his young team has to grow up in a hurry.

    Right out of the gate, the area’s most successful program of the last half a decade is coming to C. Doyle McCall Field this Friday for the season opener.

    The Indians are seeking their first win against the Tigers since 2009.

    There’s an air of optimism surrounding the Chiefland program as its turnout has nearly doubled to begin the Gore era. Trenton, which has reeled off six-straight district championships and Class 1A state titles in 2013 and 2015, presents an early major test for the Indians, who are attempting to fast-track the development of its promising but inexperienced talent.

    The narrowest margin of victory by Trenton during Chiefland’s recent winless streak in the rivalry is 12 points (2012).

    Games like this are the only way the team can ultimately grow, Gore says, but the team isn’t after so-called moral victories.

  • City commissioners discuss parks in budget talks

    Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey reported Monday, Aug. 14, during a budget meeting of the City Commission that the city General Fund is balanced with the roll back rate of 6.9850 mills on property taxes in the city.

    Ellzey expects the city to collect approximately $1.56 million in taxes, which would be an increase of $177,082 over the previous year. More than half, $878,608 is anticipated to come from Ad Valorem Taxes. License and Permit is expected to generate $387,700; Intergovernmental Revenue, $275,131; Charges for Services, $21,792; Fines and Bonds, $13,200; and Miscellaneous Revenue, $21,585 for a total of $2.28 million in total operating revenue. Adding in contingency and prior year refund of $108,000 increases the total operating revenue and grants to $2.39 million, an overall decrease from the previous year of $200,492.

    Discussion on the cost of park maintenance, aging police and fire department fleets and the aging sewer system took up most of the 30-minute meeting.

    The 2016-17 adopted budget reflects a total budget of $114,025 and the request for 2017-18 is $117,117, an increase of $3,092.

  • Chiefland overcomes miscues in preseason win

    It took just two plays in the preseason classic at Bell for Chiefland to showcase its new offense in a big way.

    Sophomore quarterback Ty Corbin rolled right to find junior Hunter Barrand for a 47-yard completion, setting up a 35-yard touchdown run by USF commit Brian Norris Jr. on the Indians’ second offensive play of the game.

    The offense went on to churn up 201 yards in the first half.

    But CMHS got in the way of its own progress for much of the night, compiling 124 yards on 12 penalties, while coughing it over to Bell on three turnovers, including once inside the BHS 15-yard-line.

    Those miscues – and a sturdy rushing effort by Bell – helped keep the game close until the end, eventually leading to a 14-7 win over the Bulldogs at Boneyard Stadium in Bell after a final stop by the Indian defense.

    The mistakes were of the variety you might expect from a team introducing a large mix of first-time players, and playing on a wet turf no less. Bell fumbled the ball three times but lost just one, while CMHS lost three of its four fumbles.

  • Hundreds of CES students, parents meet their teachers

    It’s held during work hours, but you wouldn’t know it from the impressive turnout it garners.

    Chiefland Elementary School held its annual Meet the Teacher event Wednesday, the day before school started, and it was another hit.

    Hundreds of students and parents flooded the hallways to find their classrooms and meet their teachers.

    It’s also a chance for students to meet some classmates and in some cases engage in some activities in the classroom.

    Meanwhile, parents get to discuss details about class supplies and expectations as well as sign up for volunteering sessions and other support opportunities.

    The event was held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., so there’s time for teachers to give one-on-one attention to parents and students.

    There was already a large group of parents and students forming outside the school by 1 p.m.

    In the lobby outside by the entrance, the school had its greeting case redecorated to read, in the form of an acronym for W.E.L.C.O.M.E., “When you Enter this Loving school, Consider yourself One of the special Member of an Extraordinary tribe.”

  • FDOT to add sidewalk, pave Picnic Street

    Citizen Correspondent

    Bronson Town Council members unanimously approved an extension of a Small County Outreach Program agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation. The extension will go toward paving and adding a sidewalk to Picnic Street.

    Virginia Phillips and Robert Partin, candidates for the First District Council Seat said it was wonderful to see the picnic street project approved by the council.

    “You’ve got to use grants today. It’s the only way you can get any major construction done,” Partin said.

    Councilwoman Katie Parks said she believes that the current group of councilmembers has a good chemistry. Parks said she hopes whoever wins the election will gel with the rest of the council.

    The council also approved a renewal of employee health, vision and, dental insurance for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

  • Lady Indian netters boast promising talent, team chemistry

    At first glance, it looks like it should be a rebuilding year for the Chiefland varsity volleyball squad.

    The team lost six seniors to graduation, including leading hitter Takiya London and setter Lauren Parker, as well as underclassman Madison Baynard, an outgoing transfer who led the team in service aces last season.

    But the returning players back this year look improved on the court, and they’re embracing their new roles as team leaders.

    “We’re not quite as talented, but it’s a really, really good group,” CMHS coach Debra Weeks said at practice Monday. “We’ve got a couple of the kids that are already stepping up. Our seniors want to be the ones that lead the team.”

    It’s also evident this is an upbeat and close-knit group that is brimming with team camaraderie, eager to prove it can maintain the recent success of the program, which includes three straight state playoff berths and a state final four appearance.